Two people have sustained injuries after being stabbed in a terror attack at a store outside the Central Bus Station in Jerusalem on Monday. The Palestinian attacker was shot by a police officer and is being treated in hospital.
The Magen David Adom ambulance service said paramedics treated two men who were moderately wounded, then took them to Shaare Zedek Medical Center. The hospital said the two were in stable condition and had suffered stab wounds to their upper bodies.
The two stabbing victims were ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students, according to Hebrew media reports.
“We will continue to act resolutely against any attempt to harm Israeli citizens,” said Defense Minister Benny Gantz after the attack. “The vigilance and rapid and professional action of the forces on the ground prevented a much more severe result.”
A Border Police officer shot and “neutralized” the suspect. Another two people have also been detained on suspicion of being accomplices.
Jerusalem District Police Commander Doron Turgeman said the suspect, whom he identified as a 17-year-old Palestinian from the Hebron area, was in serious condition. The assailant was named in media reports as Basil Shawamra, a resident of the town of Deir al-Asal al-Fauqa, near Hebron in the southern West Bank.
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Tourgeman added that police detained two people near the bus station on suspicion of assisting the attacker and were searching for others.
He also told reporters at the scene that the attacker entered a store outside the bus station and stabbed two shoppers. As he struggled with one of them, he was shot by a policewoman, according to Turgeman.
“There is no doubt that there is an escalation,” the Jerusalem police chief said, noting a number of other recent attacks.
Public Security Minister Omer Barlev hailed the response of the officers.
“Congratulations to the Border Police patrol that successfully stopped the attack at the Central Bus Station in Jerusalem,” Barlev wrote on Twitter. “A heroine who bravely strove for contract with the terrorist and handled the situation with professionalism, speed and sharpness.”
Palestinian Islamic Jihad spokesman Daoud Shehab responded to the terrorist attack on Monday afternoon, saying, “The commando operations in Jerusalem and the West Bank reflect the extent of the rising popular anger as a result of the aggressive policies of the occupation against the prisoners.”
Shehab warned that Israel would “pay a price for its arrogance,” adding, “Acts of resistance are a legitimate right of the Palestinian people, and we bless and support this jihadist act and salute all the revolutionaries in Jerusalem, the West Bank and everywhere, and we affirm that resistance is the most capable approach to deterring the occupation.”
The incident followed an attempted attack in the West Bank earlier Monday, in which a Palestinian man tried to stab two IDF soldiers at a hitchhiking station, but was shot before he could inflict harm, according to the military. The attacker was shot in the hand and transported to Shaare Zedek in moderate to serious condition.