JERUSALEM (AP) — An Israeli police officer shot dead a Jordanian attacker who stabbed him in the Old City of Jerusalem on Saturday, police said, in a rare incident that sparked tension between the two countries.
Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said the attacker quickly pulled a knife and stabbed the officer several times, moderately wounding him. Samri said the officer responded by opening fire and killing his attacker, a 57-year-old man from Jordan who arrived several days earlier on a tourist visa. Closed circuit footage released by police shows a bald man in a jacket lunging at the uniformed officer and swiping a knife at him before pinning him to the ground.
Jordanian government spokesman Mohammed Momani said Jordan holds Israel responsible for the killing of its citizen and denounced the "crime."
The Israeli government called the Jordanian reaction "outrageous."
"It's time for Jordan to stop playing this double game," the prime minister's office said in a statement. "Just as Israel condemns terror attacks in Jordan, Jordan must condemn terror attacks in Israel. Terror is terror wherever it is."
The incident marked a rare instance of a foreign national involved in the spate of attacks targeting Israel over the past two years.
Since 2015, Palestinian attackers have killed 42 Israelis, two visiting Americans and a British student, mainly in stabbing assaults. During that same time, Israeli forces have killed some 245 Palestinians. Israel has identified most of them as attackers.
Israel has blamed the violence on incitement by Palestinian political and religious leaders compounded on social media sites. The Palestinians say it is rooted in nearly 50 years of military occupation and dwindling hopes for independence.
The attacks have diminished over time and Israeli police say the most recent attacks have not been ideological by nature and have mostly been carried out by Palestinians plagued by personal or mental health issues.