Arab Israeli attempts to stab cop in Jerusalem’s Old City, is shot dead
No other casualties in incident near Lions Gate; Temple Mount compound briefly closed; assailant identified as resident of Umm al-Fahm
An Arab Israeli man armed with a knife attempted to carry out a stabbing attack against a policeman in Jerusalem’s Old City Friday afternoon, and was shot dead by security forces, police said.
Police said the man, who had come from the direction of the Temple Mount, approached a group of policemen, pulled out a knife and attempted to stab one of them.
The officers scuffled with the assailant and one of them shot him, killing him.
Large police forces arrived at the scene of the attack and scanned the area for accomplices. The Temple Mount compound was shut down temporarily as forces conducted searches.
The attacker was later named by Hebrew media as Ahmed Muhammad Mahameed, a 24-year old resident of the northern Arab town of Umm al-Fahm. Police said Mahameed was carrying an ID at the time of the attack and was identified as an Israeli civilian.
In the wake of the incident Jordan protested the brief closure of the Temple Mount compound.
On Wednesday police said security forces in the Old City last week arrested a Palestinian man planning to carry out a stabbing attack.
The 26-year-old resident of the West Bank city of Hebron was detained by officers on August 8 after they deemed his behavior suspicious. A body search revealed he was holding a knife and a can of tear gas, according to a police statement.
The suspect was immediately taken for questioning at a nearby police station, where he claimed he came to Jerusalem to pray, the statement said. But the officers doubted his version and referred him to the district’s central police unit.
Police investigators then “carried out several interrogation actions through which they were able to expose the suspect’s real intentions,” the statement added.
The suspect was said to have admitted he had traveled from the West Bank illegally to carry out a stabbing attack against Israeli civilians or members of security forces.
Jerusalem’s Old City, one of the most volatile flashpoints of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has been relatively quiet for the past year. But stabbing attacks have continued elsewhere. Last month, a Palestinian terrorist climbed the fence of the Adam settlement in the West Bank and stabbed three people, killing one of them, Yotam Ovadia.