JERUSALEM — A Palestinian assailant stabbed and wounded an Israeli civilian close to the Old City of Jerusalem on Saturday afternoon, earlier than approaching two Israeli law enforcement officials who fired on the attacker, knocked him to the bottom, after which killed him as he lay on the street, 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 referred to as the “knife intifada,” a reference to earlier Palestinian uprisings towards Israeli occupation. It additionally follows the killing of an Israeli tour information by a Palestinian gunman final month, and a spike in violence by Israeli settlers towards Palestinians within the West Bank.
The nature of the assailant’s loss of life 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 thrice after dropping to the bottom. The recording additionally appeared to point out a 3rd police officer signaling to colleagues to cease firing. The two 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 Old City, 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. But Palestinians think about it occupied territory and hope it is going to at some point type 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 town in May, setting off an 11-day conflict 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 Old City, and a spotlight of Palestinian communal life in Jerusalem. Reaching a site visitors island, he instantly 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 Bank who had served a jail time period for incitement.
The footage confirmed Mr. Salima then making an attempt to stab an approaching policeman, earlier than operating towards a second close by officer. At least one of many officers then shot him and he was seen falling to the bottom. A second video, filmed from a passing automotive, confirmed that the attacker had subsequently been shot no less than thrice 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 stated by Yediot Ahronoth, an Israeli newspaper. “Without them, I would not be here today.”
The Israeli prime minister, Naftali Bennett, additionally defended the law enforcement officials.
“The two combatants took very swift and determined action, as expected of Israel’s police, when confronted with a terrorist who tried to murder an Israeli civilian,” Mr. Bennett stated on social media. “I should like to express my full support for them. This is how we expect our combatants to act, and this is how they acted. We must not allow our capital to become a focus of terrorism.”
But Ahmed Tibi, a lawmaker within the Israeli Parliament, and an Arab citizen of Israel, referred to as the episode “a coldblooded execution” of an injured man “who presented no danger to anyone.”
Mr. Tibi added: “This is a criminal act that requires investigation.”
Carol Sutherland contributed reporting from Moshav Ben Ami, Israel.