Two police officers were wounded in a stabbing attack outside Herod’s Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City on Monday morning, police said, as a fresh wave of attacks in Jerusalem and the West Bank persisted for a fourth straight day.
A female officer, 38, was seriously wounded in the assault. A male officer, 45, was moderately wounded, according to the Magen David Adom ambulance service.
The assailant, 20-year-old Ayman Kurd, was shot and critically wounded, according to police.
According to police and a video from the scene, Kurd came up behind the police and stabbed them repeatedly before being shot by the male officer.
The female officer was taken to the capital’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center, while the male officer was taken to Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem, according to Magen David Adom.
“A female officer was brought to the trauma center with a stab wound to the neck. She was in serious condition, unconscious and on a respirator,” a spokesperson for Shaare Zedek said.
The male officer sustained multiple stab wounds to the upper body, but was conscious, a Hadassah Hospital spokesperson said.
Additional officers were called to the scene to secure the area around Herod’s Gate, police said.
The assailant was identified by police as a 20-year-old resident of East Jerusalem’s Ras al-Amoud neighborhood. However, his name and and the names of the two victims were not immediately released.
י-ם /שער הפרחים
אירוע דקירות. 2 שוטרים דקורים מוגדרים בשלב זה קשה.
פצוע שלישי ככה"נ המפגע נוטרל ובהכרה. pic.twitter.com/Sws1pJHn7K
— שמעון ארן شمعون آران (@simonarann) September 19, 2016
Israeli security forces have “boosted their forces” ahead of the upcoming holidays and in light of the uptick in violence against police officers, soldiers and civilians in recent days, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday.
“The security forces are on heightened alert and I will meet with them today in order to ensure that we will be ready to defend our people during this sensitive period,” he said.
Six attacks over the weekend — four stabbings, a car ramming and a rock throwing — caught many Israelis by surprise, as the violence that marked 2015 and early 2016 appeared to have waned in recent months, and raised fears that regular attacks could return.
“[The Eid al-Adha holiday] and September are always more susceptible to spikes in violent Palestinian activities,” a military official, speaking anonymously, said Saturday.
“The motivation and inspiration to carry out attacks against Israelis remains strong,” the official said.
In the past year, Israel saw a wave of so-called “lone wolf” Palestinian terror attacks, which claimed the lives of 35 Israelis and four foreign nationals since October 2015. Over 200 Palestinians have also been killed in the past year, with the Israeli army and police saying that most of those killed were attackers or involved in clashes with security forces.