Israeli guards kill Palestinian knife attacker, boys stab guard on tram

Reuters News
Posted: Nov 10, 2015 7:54 AM

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli security guards shot dead a Palestinian who ran towards them with a knife near Jerusalem's Old City on Tuesday, shortly after two Palestinian boys stabbed a guard on a tram nearby, Israeli police said.

Israel and the Palestinian territories are experiencing the worst wave of violence since the 2014 Gaza war, with Palestinian militants calling for a knife "intifada", or uprising, against Israel.

Twelve Israelis have been killed since Oct. 1, while 73 Palestinians have been shot dead by Israeli security forces, including 44 people Israel said were carrying out attacks. Many of the assailants have been teenagers.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said two Palestinians, aged 12 to 13, stabbed a security guard on a light-rail train in Pisgat Zeev, a Jewish settlement north of Jerusalem. The guard shot back at them.

A hospital spokeswoman said one boy was seriously wounded. Police said the other was taken into custody. Israel Radio said that passengers helped overcome the two youths.

A few minutes later, two security guards shot a 37-year-old Palestinian holding a knife as he ran towards them, Samri said. The hospital where he was taken said he later died of his wounds.

A Palestinian bystander was wounded in the shooting, Samri added.

The violence over the past six weeks has in part been fueled by an increase in Jewish visits to a Jerusalem site that is holy to both Muslims and Jews.

In addition, Palestinians are frustrated as U.S.-backed peace efforts have stalled and Israel's 48-year occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem shows no sign of ending. Gaza, ruled by Islamist Hamas which is sworn to Israel's destruction, is under a crippling Israeli-Egyptian blockade.

The Palestinians seek an independent state in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, which were captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war.

On Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for talks in Washington, their first meeting between the two in 13 months.

(Writing by Maayan Lubell; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)