Two Border Police officers were moderately wounded in a stabbing attack in Jerusalem in the early hours of Monday morning, police said.
The assailant was shot and critically wounded during the attack. He later died of his injuries.
The stabbing occurred shortly after 4:00 a.m. near the Lions’ Gate in the Old City.
According to police, the assailant entered a guard booth where the two officers were stationed, holding a large butcher’s knife. Inside the cramped post, he began stabbing and hitting them.
After a brief struggle, one of the officers fought his way out of the guard booth, loaded his weapon and shot the assailant, police said.
The officers were taken by paramedics to Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem in the city for treatment. They were stable and fully conscious when they arrived, a hospital spokesperson said.
The assailant was later identified by Arabic media as Ibrahim Mahmoud Mattar. He was described by police as a 25-year-old resident of East Jerusalem’s Jabel Mukaber neighborhood, which has been home to several terrorists.
Ahead of the Purim holiday, which is celebrated in Jerusalem on Monday — a day later than in most other cities — police set up additional troops to reinforce security for revelers.
Police credited this “increased deployment” with “bringing this incident to an end in a short amount of time.”
The Old City has been the site of numerous stabbing attacks and attempted stabbing attacks since the start of a Palestinian wave of violence in October 2015.
Though a marked drop has been recorded by security officials in recent months, 40 Israelis, two Americans, a Palestinian and an Eritrean national have been killed in the spate of stabbing, car-ramming and shooting attacks that began a year and a half ago.
According to AFP figures, some 250 Palestinians, a Jordanian and a Sudanese migrant have also been killed, most of them in the course of carrying out attacks, Israel says, and many of the others in clashes with troops in the West Bank and at the Gaza border, as well as in Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip in response to rocket attacks.
The spate of Palestinian attacks that began in October 2015 was dubbed the “lone wolf” intifada, as many of the attacks were carried out by individuals who were not connected to any terror group.
The attacks were at first attributed to tensions over Palestinian fears that Israel was seeking to change the status quo on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, a charge Israel has repeatedly and vehemently denied. Palestinian leaders have argued that the primary cause for attacks during this period was despair caused by Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank.
The Hamas terror group, which controls the Gaza Strip, continues to refer to each attack as a part of a “Jerusalem Intifada.”