A police officer was stabbed and moderately hurt by a Palestinian assailant at Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate on Sunday evening, Israeli officials said.
The alleged attacker — a Palestinian from the West Bank, illegally in Israel — was taken into a police booth that overlooks the entrance to the Old City for questioning, after officers found him to be suspicious, according to police.
The assailant then drew a knife and stabbed the officer in the neck, medics said.
Other officers at the scene shot the man, police said. He was listed in critical condition and was taken to Hadassah Hospital in Ein Karem for further medical treatment.
The alleged assailant was named as 20-year-old Nadheer Marzouq, from the West Bank town of Abwein, north of Ramallah, according to his lawyer Khaldoun Najm.
“He’s in critical condition. He’s ventilated in an induced coma and his life is very much in danger,” Najm said in a phone call.
Najm charged that the police had focused on treating the wounded officer and had “left [Marzouq] to bleed out.”
Police said the suspect was carrying a second knife.
“The policemen acted courageously while engaging a person who aroused their suspicion, and thus effectively prevented harm to innocent civilians,” the Israel Police said in a statement.
In response, officers closed off the area and other entrances to the Old City.
The attack came hours after two Palestinians were arrested for a deadly terror attack last week in the central city of Elad last week.
Tensions have risen sharply between Israel and the Palestinians in recent months against the backdrop of repeated terror attacks in Israel and the West Bank that have left 19 dead.
The Israeli army stepped up its West Bank activities in an attempt to crack down on the spiraling violence. The ensuing raids sparked clashes that left at least 27 Palestinians dead since mid-March. Many of those took part in the clashes, while others appeared to have been civilians.