Sunday 4 December 2016

Three Israelis dead and dozens injured as violence flares in the Holy City

Rachael Alexander Tel Aviv

Published 14/10/2015 | 02:30

An Israeli border police officer escorts a woman at the scene of a shooting attack in Jerusalem, where two Palestinians boarded a bus and began shooting and stabbing passengers, killing two
An Israeli border police officer escorts a woman at the scene of a shooting attack in Jerusalem, where two Palestinians boarded a bus and began shooting and stabbing passengers, killing two

At least three Israelis have been killed and many injured in shooting and stabbing attacks in Jerusalem and central Israel, police say.

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Two were killed and 16 others were wounded when two assailants, who police identified as Arabs, shot and stabbed passengers on a bus in Jerusalem.

Another Israeli died after being run down and stabbed elsewhere in the city.

Near-daily stabbings by Palestinians have left dozens of Israelis dead and wounded over the past fortnight.

Several attackers and at least 17 other Palestinians have been killed in the upsurge of violence.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened an emergency session of the security cabinet to discuss how to halt the violence.

Officials said Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan was considering whether to seal off Arab areas in East Jerusalem from the rest of the city.

The militant Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, which dominates the Gaza Strip, praised the "heroic operations in Jerusalem and greets the heroes who carried them out".

In the bus attack, the two assailants shot several passengers and stabbed others after boarding the vehicle in East Talpiot, a district in East Jerusalem also known as Armon HaNetziv, police said.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld identified all three attackers as Arab residents of the Jabal Mukaber district of East Jerusalem.

Captured

Earlier in the morning, a Palestinian stabbed an Israeli man, moderately wounding him, at a bus stop in Raanana, a town north of Tel Aviv, police said. The attacker was captured and reportedly beaten and seriously injured by passers-by.

Not long afterwards, at least four other people were wounded in another knife attack in Raanana, police said. The assailant fled, but was then arrested by police.

Police identified both of the attackers in Raanana as residents of East Jerusalem.

Tensions between Israelis and Palestinians have escalated since last month, fuelled by clashes at a flashpoint holy site in Jerusalem, in the West Bank, and across the Gaza border, as well as the wave of stabbings

A security guard was able to overpower one of them and shoot him, Israeli media said.

The second assailant then reportedly locked the bus doors in an attempt to stop police from boarding it and passengers from escaping, but police opened fire from outside and shot him.

Police say at least one Israeli has been killed and four wounded in a pair of separate attacks in Jerusalem.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld says two attackers stabbed and shot people on one side of the city and were captured at the scene. Almost simultaneously, there was another stabbing attack in another part of the city. Israeli emergency services say they have treated eight wounded people.

Since the Jewish New Year last month, six Israelis have been killed and dozens wounded in a shooting, a stoning and a series of stabbings.

At least 26 Palestinians been killed by Israeli fire, including 10 identified by Israel as attackers and the rest in clashes between stone-throwers and Israeli troops. Hundreds of Palestinians have been wounded in such confrontations.

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