JERUSALEM — A Palestinian assailant stabbed and wounded an Israeli civilian close to the Previous Metropolis of Jerusalem on Saturday afternoon, earlier than approaching two Israeli cops who fired on the attacker, knocked him to the bottom after which killed him as he lay on the highway, movies of the confrontation confirmed.
The knife assault was no less than the fifth in Jerusalem because the begin of September, reviving reminiscences of 2015-16, when scores of Israelis had been stabbed by Palestinians in what some called the “knife intifada,” a reference to earlier Palestinian uprisings in opposition to Israeli occupation. It additionally follows the killing of an Israeli tour guide by a Palestinian gunman final month, and a spike in violence by Israeli settlers in opposition to Palestinians within the West Financial institution.
The character of the assailant’s dying on Saturday led to accusations that the Israeli police had killed him after he was felled and incapacitated.
In one video from the scene, which doesn’t embody footage of the preliminary assault, the stabber is seen being shot 3 times after dropping to the bottom. The recording additionally appeared to point out a 3rd police officer signaling to colleagues to cease firing. The 2 officers, from the Israel Border Guard, had been positioned underneath investigation, the state broadcaster reported.
The incident led to fears of renewed unrest in East Jerusalem, the middle of one of the crucial intractable points within the Israeli-Palestinian battle. The Previous Metropolis, which lies simply inside East Jerusalem, homes probably the most sacred website in Judaism, the Temple Mount, and the Aqsa Mosque, one of the crucial hallowed locations in Islam.
Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan in 1967 and later annexed it. However Palestinians contemplate it occupied territory and hope it can sooner or later kind the capital of a Palestinian state.
Disputes over Palestinian land rights in East Jerusalem, coupled with a number of Israeli raids on the Aqsa Mosque compound, led Hamas, the militant Islamist group in Gaza, to fireplace rockets towards the town in Might, setting off an 11-day war with Israel. Following Saturday’s incident, a Hamas chief condemned the character of the attacker’s killing, Palestinian media reported.
In silent footage of the incident launched by the Israeli authorities, the attacker walked calmly throughout a pedestrian crossing resulting in a plaza beside the Damascus Gate, a significant entry level into the Previous Metropolis, and a spotlight of Palestinian communal life in Jerusalem. Reaching a visitors island, he immediately turned and repeatedly stabbed an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man behind him.
The sufferer was recognized within the Israeli information media as Avraham Elmaliah, a 20-year-old who had been praying on the Western Wall, one of many final remaining components of an historic Jewish temple compound.
The attacker was recognized by the Israeli state broadcaster as Muhammad Salima, a Palestinian from the occupied West Financial institution who had served a jail time period for incitement.
The footage confirmed Mr. Salima then making an attempt to stab an approaching police officer, earlier than operating towards a second close by officer. At the least one of many officers then shot him and he was seen falling to the bottom. A second video, filmed from a passing automobile, confirmed that the attacker had subsequently been shot no less than 3 times after falling.
Interviewed within the hospital by the Israeli information media, Mr. Elmaliah thanked the police for having intervened. “They saved me,” he was reported to have mentioned by Yediot Ahronoth, an Israeli newspaper. “With out them, I’d not be right here as we speak.”
The Israeli prime minister, Naftali Bennett, additionally defended the cops.
“The 2 combatants took very swift and decided motion, as anticipated of Israel’s police, when confronted with a terrorist who tried to homicide an Israeli civilian,” Mr. Bennett said on social media. “I ought to like to precise my full help for them. That is how we count on our combatants to behave, and that is how they acted. We should not enable our capital to change into a spotlight of terrorism.”
However Ahmed Tibi, a lawmaker within the Israeli Parliament, and an Arab citizen of Israel, called the episode “a coldblooded execution” of an injured man “who offered no hazard to anybody.”
Mr. Tibi added: “This can be a felony act that requires investigation.”
Carol Sutherland contributed reporting from Moshav Ben Ami, Israel.