SHAFAQNA- Tensions between Israelis and Palestinians have been high in recent weeks, following last summer’s war in the Gaza Strip and increasing friction over a contested Jerusalem holy site.“The stabber escaped and after 200 metres from the scene of the attack he first came into contact with police forces.”Tel Aviv police chief Bentzi Sau said: “The first clear picture we have is that a soldier was attacked by a member of a minority group living in Nablus. He attacked him with a knife, stabbed several times, and attempted to take his weapon.”
Emergency services spokesman Zaki Heller said a man of about 20 was “very seriously hurt” in the attack outside HaHagana station, where footage from the scene showed medics trying to revive a man lying in the road in pools of blood. One of the paramedics who was first on the scene said his body was covered with stab wounds.Another passerby, Gilad Goldman, told the Israeli website Ynet: “I got out of my car and saw him assaulting and stabbing the youth. I punched him in the face. He dropped the knife and began fleeing.”According to one report the assailant tried to grab the soldier’s gun during the incident.An eyewitness named as “Kobi” described the stabbing on Israel Radio. “I got to HaHagana bridge with a friend and we saw a big man in a red sweatshirt stabbing a soldier twice, apparently someone from the air force,” he said. “I stopped the car and we started to run after him, shouting ‘terrorist, terrorist’.
”The assailant in the Tel Aviv attack, who was arrested after the stabbing, was identified by his family as Nur al-Din Abu Khashiyeh, aged 17, a painter and decorator who had arrived in Tel Aviv on Sunday.It was the first time Israel’s bustling commercial centre has been hit by the violence that has plagued occupied east Jerusalem for months and this weekend spread to Arab towns in Israel after police shot dead a young Arab-Israeli in controversial circumstances.The fatal stabbing followed a similar attack only hours earlier when a 20-year-old Israeli soldier was stabbed and seriously injured at noon in central Tel Aviv by a Palestinian from the occupied West bank.In response to Netanyahu’s remarks Ahmed Tibi, a prominent Arab MP, accused the right-wing Likud party leader of having “gone off the rails”.And in a veiled threat toward Arab demonstrators in Israel and east Jerusalem, he said attackers should consider moving to the West Bank or Gaza Strip.”Believe me, we will put no difficulties in your path,” he said.
The latest attacks came as Israel’s prime minister promised a harsh response to the ongoing wave of violence and protests. Speaking to members of his Likud party, Binyamin Netanyahu said he will use all means available to stop weeks of unrest that has shaken east Jerusalem, northern Israel and Tel Aviv. He said he will pursue new measures, including demolishing the homes of instigators.Israeli media, quoting security sources, identified the attacker as Maher Hamdi Hashalamun, 30, of Hebron, reportedly a former prisoner jailed by Israel for security offences.Conflicting early reports put the age of the woman who was killed at either 14 or 25. The stabbing took place at same junction where three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and murdered in June while hitchhiking.Photographs from the scene of the attack showed an apparently damaged bus stop and large amounts of blood staining the pavement nearby.
According to first reports from the attack outside Alon Shvut, the assailant had arrived by car close to a popular hitchhiking spot outside the settlement, apparently first ramming the shelter with his car.When the car was stopped by a concrete bollard he got out and stabbed those waiting there.The fatal stabbing occurred close to the entrance to the Israeli settlement of Alon Shvut, part of the Gush Etzion bloc of settlements between Bethlehem and Hebron, when three people were assaulted by a man wielding a knife, who was then shot by a security guard.The attacks, which occurred within the space of a few hours, took place in Tel Aviv, Israel’s commercial hub, and the occupied West Bank, and follow stone-throwing protests in several Arab towns in Israel at the weekend.Two separate knife attacks by Palestinians have killed an Israeli woman and a soldier and left two others wounded, amid a sharp escalation of violence that has now spread beyond Jerusalem.
Israeli woman and soldier killed in Palestinian stabbings