Cop stabbed in head with screwdriver, lightly hurt in Jerusalem attack

East Jerusalem child with head wound says he was also struck by the assailant in the capital’s Old City; attacker shot dead

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

A police officer was stabbed in the head and lightly wounded in an attack in the Old City of Jerusalem on Wednesday, police said.

Another officer was also very lightly wounded in the attack. A 12-year-old resident of East Jerusalem with a light head wound claimed he was also attacked by the assailant. Police said they were still investigating the claim.

The assailant was shot and mortally wounded.

The attacker approached a group of officers near the Austrian Hospice in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City. As he got close to them, he pulled out a screwdriver and attacked the officers, stabbing one in the head and the other in the upper body, police said.

Screwdriver used to stab a police officer near the Lions' Gate in Jerusalem's Old City on December 14, 2016. (Israel Police)
Screwdriver used to stab a police officer near the Lions’ Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City on December 14, 2016. (Israel Police)

In response, the officers opened fire, shooting the assailant.

According to police, he was a 21-year-old Palestinian man from the Palestinian village of Bayt Surik, northwest of Jerusalem, who entered Israel without a permit.

He was taken to Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus in critical condition. After extensive CPR attempts, doctors pronounced him dead, a hospital spokesperson said.

Paramedics started treating the 35-year-old injured officer at the scene before taking him to Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center, according to the Magen David Adom ambulance service.

The other injured officer did not require hospitalization.

The East Jerusalem child who was lightly wounded also received treatment from MDA medics at the scene and was taken to Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus for further care, the ambulance service said.

On Tuesday, Police said they’d foiled an attempted car-ramming attack at the flashpoint Qalandiya crossing in the West Bank. The incident began when a woman, 31, a resident of East Jerusalem’s Beit Hanina neighborhood, approached the crossing at high speed in her vehicle. Troops opened fire, forcing her to stop. She then emerged from the car, shouting Allahu akbar (God is great).

Guards at the checkpoint subdued and arrested her, without injury, police said, adding that she was in possession of a knife.

A spate of stabbings, car-rammings and shooting attacks by Palestinian assailants that began a year ago has waned over the last six months, though sporadic incidents have persisted.

From October 2015 to October 2016, 36 Israelis, two Americans and an Eritrean national were killed in stabbing, car-ramming and shooting attacks.

According to AFP figures, some 238 Palestinians, a Jordanian and a Sudanese migrant were also killed during the violent spurt, most of them in the course of carrying out attacks, Israel says, and many of the others in clashes with troops in the West Bank and at the Gaza border, as well as in Israeli airstrikes in the Strip.

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