Two people were moderately wounded Monday in a stabbing attack outside Jerusalem's central bus station, an incident which "undoubtedly represents an escalation," according to the city's police chief, Doron Turgeman.
The police said the 17-year-old assailant, who was identified as Basel Shuamra from Dura, Hebron, arrived at a shop at Jaffa Street in Jerusalem and stabbed two men. The police added that he was shot, and is in a serious condition. He is being treated at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in the city. Dr. Alon Schwartz, the emergency room's director, said that he had bullet wounds in his upper and lower body, and that he was resuscitated before going into surgery. His condition is not stable.
The two victims, young ultra-Orthodox men in their twenties, were also taken to Shaare Zedek. The hospital said they are conscious and in a stable condition after they sustained upper body wounds.
After the attack, two Border Police officers arrived to the scene. One describes witnessing a civilian struggling with Shuamra, who was holding a knife. One of the officers said she yelled at the civilian to push Shuamra off of him, and then proceeded to shoot at him once the target was clear.
Earlier on Monday, a 27-year-old Palestinian was shot by Israeli forces after an attempted stabbing attack at the Gush Etzion Junction, south of Bethlehem, the Israeli military said.
The man was identified as Mohammed Bello, resident of Beit Fajjar, in the Bethlehem area. He was taken to the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.
According to the Israeli military, he attempted to stab a soldier with a screwdriver. The soldier pushed him away, and a second soldier shot him. No Israeli casualties were reported.
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Video footage from the scene shared on Palestinian media shows Bello lying on the ground as soldiers appear to be securing the area, preventing a Palestinian medic from treating him. There was no immediate comment from Israeli officials.
On Friday, a 50-year-old Palestinian, resident of East Jerusalem, was shot dead after a reported attempted stabbing attack in the Old City. An Israeli Border Police officer was lightly wounded in the leg, likely from bullet fragments that had ricocheted.
Eyewitnesses rejected the claim that the suspected attacker, identified as 50-year-old Hazem al-Julani, was involved in the attempted stabbing. Police acknowledged that he did not fit the usual profile of an attacker, but said that security cameras captured him attempting to hurt police officers.
Following the incident, police closed off all the entrances to Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound, but reopened them shortly after. The suspect began trying to stab officers as soon as he arrived at the site, a police statement said.
Tensions have been heightened following last week's escape from a maximum security Israeli prison by six Palestinian inmates. Over the weekend, Israel caught four of them, and the search for the last two prisoners is continuing.