A suspected terrorist stabbed two people outside the Central Bus Station in Jerusalem on Monday before being shot by a police officer.
The Magen David Adom ambulance service said paramedics treated two men who were moderately wounded, then took them to Shaare Zedek Medical Center. The hospital said the two were in stable condition and had suffered stab wounds to their upper bodies.
The two stabbing victims were ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students, according to Hebrew media reports.
A Border Police officer shot and “neutralized” the suspect, who was being treated after being checked by a sapper, according to a police statement.
Jerusalem District Police Commander Doron Turgeman said the suspect, whom he identified as a 17-year-old Palestinian from the Hebron area, was in serious condition. The assailant was named in media reports as Basil Shawamra, a resident of the town of Deir al-Asal al-Fauqa, near Hebron in the southern West Bank.
Tourgeman added that police detained two people near the bus station on suspicion of assisting the attacker and were searching for others.
He also told reporters at the scene that the attacker entered a store outside the bus station and stabbed two shoppers. As he struggled with one of them, he was shot by a policewoman, according to Turgeman.
“There is no doubt that there is an escalation,” the Jerusalem police chief said, noting a number of other recent attacks.
Public Security Minister Omer Barlev hailed the response of the officers.
“Congratulations to the Border Police patrol that successfully stopped the attack at the Central Bus Station in Jerusalem,” Barlev wrote on Twitter. “A heroine who bravely strove for contract with the terrorist and handled the situation with professionalism, speed and sharpness.”
The incident followed an attempted attack in the West Bank earlier Monday, in which a Palestinian man tried to stab two IDF soldiers at a hitchhiking station, but was shot before he could inflict harm, according to the military. The attacker was shot in the hand and transported to Shaare Zedek in moderate to serious condition.
Tensions have been running high across the West Bank over the past week following the dramatic escape of six Palestinian prisoners from the high-security Gilboa Prison last Monday. Four of the six prisoners were recaptured by police over the weekend, but two remain at large, and security officials believe they may be hiding out in the West Bank and receiving assistance from Palestinians there.
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Heavy gunfire was heard in the Jenin region in the northern West Bank on Sunday, as Israeli security forces reportedly came under fire during the manhunt for the remaining two escaped prisoners.
Overnight Sunday, terrorists in the Gaza Strip fired two rockets at Israel, which were intercepted by the Gaza Strip, marking a third consecutive night of rocket fire from Gaza.
Separately, on Friday afternoon, an assailant was shot as he attempted to stab police officers in Jerusalem’s Old City, and later died of his wounds, police and hospital officials said. The attempted stabbing occurred at the Old City’s Council (Majlis) Gate, on the northern side of the western Temple Mount wall, police said. Video of the incident showed the assailant repeatedly trying to stab a police officer, who backed away and opened fire.