An Israeli police officer in his late 30s was moderately wounded Saturday afternoon in a stabbing attack in Jerusalem’s Old City near Lions' Gate. The assailant, a Jordanian who had entered Israel as a tourist, was shot and killed.
The victim was taken by paramedics to the Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Jerusalem, fully conscious and in stable condition with stab wounds to the upper body.
According to the police, the assailant, Mohammed Skaji, a 57-year-old Jordanian national, entered Israel as a tourist a few days ago.
Skaji was walking down Jerusalem’s Shalshelet Street in the Old City and saw a police officer approaching, the police said, at which point he pulled out a knife and quickly moved toward the officer and stabbed him. The officer responded - even as he was wounded - by holding off the assailant and shooting him.
A second man at the scene was lightly wounded in his arm.
The police stated that Skaji had arrived as part of a tour group. Police are investigating whether the attack may have been driven by a personal grievance or a mental issue.
Police also detained the owner of a stand near the scene. The stand owner, a resident of Jerusalem’s Old City, allegedly saw the attack and tried to prevent another bystander from coming to the policeman’s aid.
Police also raided the hotel where Skaji had been staying and detained one of the trip organizers, Palestinian sources said.