An Israeli man was moderately wounded in a stabbing attack at a light rail station in Jerusalem on Wednesday night, police and medics said.
The alleged terrorist, a 14-year-old Palestinian, was shot dead by an off-duty Border Police officer at the scene, according to police.
The stabbing took place at the Shivtei Israel light rail station, outside the Old City.
The assailant, from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina, stabbed a man at the station with a large kitchen knife. Other civilians at the station attempted to disarm the stabber and scuffled with him.
Police said the Border Police officer was aboard the light rail when he saw the scuffle, and realized it was a terror attack. He got off the light rail, and immediately opened fire at the stabber, police said.
“I identified the terrorist with a knife held up, trying to stab people, while the train was driving,” Staff Sgt. “Mem” — identified only by his rank and first initial in Hebrew — told the chief of the Border Police, Brik Yitzhak, who had reached the scene quickly as he was attending a selichot prayer service nearby.
“Once the train stopped and the doors opened I got out, cocked my gun, and while several civilians were beating the terrorist, I fired several rounds,” the officer added.
Eldad Bar Kochva, one of the civilians who attempted to disarm the terrorist, told the Kan public broadcaster that he was sitting at the station with his wife when the stabber carried out the attack.
“He pulled out a large knife and came to stab us. I don’t how to explain it, but I kicked him really hard, he ended up flying back two meters and the knife fell out of his hand. I didn’t even manage to jump on him, and the police officer already arrived and killed him,” Bar Kochva said.
Footage from the scene showed the alleged terrorist lying on the ground with the knife next to him.
First responders said the wounded Israeli man, in his 20s, fled to a nearby street after being stabbed in the back.
The Magen David Adom ambulance service said its medics found the man and took him to the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in the capital with moderate injuries.
Shaare Zedek officials said the victim arrived at the hospital fully conscious and in a stable condition.
Police said a large number of officers had arrived at the scene.
Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai hailed the Border Police officer who shot the stabber, saying he prevented a “more serious attack.”
“In engaging [the stabber] while risking his life, the Border Police fighter managed to neutralize the terrorist and prevent a more serious attack. His quick and professional response shows the level of vigilance of our forces, who time and again prevent and thwart terror attacks,” Shabtai said in a statement, adding that he wished the victim “a speedy recovery.”
Footage from moments after the Palestinian stabber was shot. pic.twitter.com/8zq2mM9pl6
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) August 30, 2023
The attack came as tensions have remained high across the region, amid a string of Palestinian attacks in Israel and the West Bank that have left 27 civilians and two soldiers dead, and several others seriously wounded since the beginning of the year.
According to a tally by The Times of Israel, 176 West Bank Palestinians have been killed during the same period — most of them during clashes with security forces or while carrying out attacks, but some were uninvolved civilians and others were killed under unclear circumstances, including by armed Israeli settlers.
Earlier Wednesday, two Israeli bus drivers were lightly hurt after Palestinians hurled stones at their vehicles on the Route 55 highway in the West Bank.
MDA said its medics treated the two men, aged 48 and 30, and took them to the Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba.
One suffered minor wounds to his arm and shoulder, and the other to his face, MDA said. Both were listed in good condition.
The pair came under attack near the West Bank village of Nabi Ilyas, the Rescuers Without Borders emergency service said.
On Wednesday morning, a Palestinian man was shot and seriously wounded by Israeli troops after allegedly ramming them with his vehicle near the southern West Bank city of Hebron. One soldier was lightly hurt.