Israeli soldier, civilian wounded in Jerusalem stabbing
JERUSALEM (AP) — An Israeli soldier and a civilian were stabbed near a light rail station in east Jerusalem on Monday before the assailant was shot and killed by police, who described it as a terrorist attack.
The attack came in the the tense aftermath of an 11-day war between Israel and Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers that was triggered by protests and clashes in Jerusalem.
The Magen David Adom emergency service said it treated two men in their early 20s with stab wounds to their upper bodies. The military identified one of those wounded as a soldier. Both were being treated at nearby hospitals.
Police did not provide any details about the attacker but referred to him as a “terrorist,” a term usually reserved for Palestinian assailants.
The stabbing took place near the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in east Jerusalem, where dozens of Palestinian families face the threat of eviction by Jewish settlers, one of the underlying triggers of the recent violence.
Israel captured east Jerusalem, along with the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, in the 1967 Mideast war. The Palestinians want all three territories for their future state and view east Jerusalem as their capital. Israel annexed east Jerusalem in a move not recognized internationally and considers the entire city its unified capital.
Monday’s attack came after a cease-fire took effect early Friday, halting 11 days of intense rocket barrages from Gaza and airstrikes by Israel. More than 250 people were killed, the vast majority of them Palestinian.
Late on Monday, the Israeli defense ministry body in charge of crossings with the Gaza Strip said it would allow humanitarian aid to enter the Palestinian enclave on Tuesday. It also said it was expanding the fishing zone for Gazans to six nautical miles from shore.
The fighting began May 10, when Hamas militants in Gaza fired long-range rockets toward Jerusalem after days of clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli police at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
Al-Aqsa is the third holiest site in Islam and it lies on a hilltop in Jerusalem’s Old City that is the holiest place for Jews, who refer to it as the Temple Mount because it was the location of the biblical temples.
The site has seen several outbreaks of Israeli-Palestinian violence over the years and was the epicenter of the 2000 Palestinian intifada, or uprising.
Brief clashes between police and protesters broke out after Friday prayers but did not set off wider violence.