Israeli policeman shoots man who stabbed him
A Palestinian stabbed and seriously wounded an Israeli border policeman outside Jerusalem’s Old City on Sunday, with the officer managing to shoot his attacker, leaving him in critical condition.
It was the latest in a string of lone-wolf attacks which have gripped the city and spread to the West Bank in the past nine months, which the security forces have been largely powerless to prevent.
It came two days after a Palestinian shot dead an Israeli hiker near the West Bank city of Ramallah.
The latest incident took place outside Damascus Gate, the bustling main entrance to the walled Old City from the commercial heart of Arab east Jerusalem.
Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said the attacker was a Palestinian aged around 18 who came from the West Bank but gave no further details on his identity, citing a court gag order.
She said he had attacked the police officer from behind, stabbing him in the neck.
“The border police officer, who was very seriously wounded, managed to see the terrorist, fired at him and wounded him critically,” she said in a statement which had initially described the officer’s condition as critical.
Israel’s Magen David Adom emergency services said the border policeman was in very serious condition, with one of the paramedics who treated him saying he had been stabbed repeatedly.
“We found a young man of about 20 lying unconscious with a number of stab wounds to his upper body,” said a statement by paramedic Aaron Adeler, who described his condition as “very serious.”
Another paramedic who treated both the victim and his attacker at the scene said the Palestinian was lying nearby and had sustained “gunshot wounds to his upper body.”
Jerusalem Police Chief Moshe Edri praised the officer involved.
“The quick response of the victim, who was himself seriously wounded, brought an immediate end to the incident and prevented harm to other innocents,” he said in a statement.
“Jerusalem police is prepared for any event and we are deploying a large force on the ground to ensure the safety of residents.”
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat also hailed the policeman’s actions, and urged people to come and visit the city in a show of solidarity.
“I call on all Israeli citizens to continue visiting Jerusalem and to strengthen it. This is the message we sent to the terror which tries to disrupt our lives.”
Speaking at the weekly cabinet meeting, which was taking place as the attack occurred, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the security forces were still searching for the Palestinian who carried out Friday’s deadly shooting attack.
“The relative quiet in Judaea and Samaria ( the West Bank) should not fool anyone. There are attempts to carry out attacks all the time and sometimes, some of them are successful,” he said before news of the attack was made public.