Police: East Jerusalem man tries to stab officer, is shot

No police officers injured in alleged attempted attack in Jabel Mukaber neighborhood of the capital; earlier, 2 shot in West Bank after alleged attempt to stab soldiers

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's religions and Diaspora affairs correspondent.

The scene of a suspected stabbing attempt in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber on May 25, 2020. (Noemi Kamhine)
The scene of a suspected stabbing attempt in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber on May 25, 2020. (Noemi Kamhine)

An East Jerusalem man armed with a utility knife and tear gas attempted to stab a police officer, who shot him, in the Jabel Mukaber neighborhood of the capital on Monday, police said.

No police officers were wounded. The assailant was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.

According to police, the assailant ran at a group of officers while holding the knife and tear gas, screaming, “Allahu Akhbar” — God is great, in Arabic.

“The [officers] responded, opening fire directly at him,” police said.

A knife recovered at the scene of a suspected stabbing attempt in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber on May 25, 2020. (Israel Police)

The attack occurred on the border between Jabel Mukaber and the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood in East Jerusalem.

Earlier in the day, two Palestinian men were shot in the central West Bank, with the Israel Defense Forces saying they had attempted to stab a group of soldiers and locals insisting it was an unprovoked shooting by the Israeli troops.

According to the IDF, the suspects tried to stab a group of soldiers operating outside the Havat Amichai outpost near the Shiloh settlement. The soldiers then opened fire at the two, hitting them, according to the army, adding that no soldiers were injured in the incident.

Nidal Rabi, a resident of the nearby Palestinian village Turmusaya, who had been at the scene both before and immediately after the incident took place, denied the army’s characterization of it as an attempted stabbing.

Speaking to The Times of Israel, he said the two men were brothers, farmers from the nearby al-Mughayyir village, who had been working in their wheat fields along with several other relatives when a group of settlers arrived at the scene accompanied by soldiers and ordered them to leave.

“One of the farmers had a sickle in his hand, but he did not attack the soldiers,” Rabi said. “Nonetheless, he was shot in the stomach and the other farmer was shot in the leg.”

A local activist, Kathem Haj Mohammad, told the Wafa official Palestinian Authority news site that the IDF soldiers shot tear gas at the villagers who came to the aid of the injured shepherds.

The man who had been shot in the leg was undergoing surgery at the Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah, while his brother, who had been shot in the stomach, did not require an operation, Rabi said.

Jacob Magid contributed to this report.

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