A Palestinian stabbed two Israeli police officers before he was shot and killed at a main entrance to Jerusalem's Old City, police said Friday.
Spokeswoman Luba Samri said the 20-year-old Palestinian “walked through Damascus Gate and then turned around with a knife in his hand, ran at the officers and attacked them.” She said one of the officers sustained knife wounds to the head and the other was cut in the hand after struggling with the attacker before shooting him.
Palestinian attackers have carried out numerous assaults at the gateway over the past 5 months, prompting Israel to significantly beef up security there in response.
The assault Friday morning was the latest in months of near-daily Palestinian attacks against civilians and security personnel, mostly stabbing, shooting and vehicular assaults that have killed 28 Israelis since mid-September. During that time some 163 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire, the majority said by Israel to be attackers. The rest died in clashes with security.
Earlier Friday, mourners gathered for the funeral of an off-duty soldier, 21-year-old Sgt. Tuvia Yanai Weissman, who was stabbed to death the day before by two teenage Palestinians who attacked him and another shopper in a West Bank supermarket. The U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem said Weissman was an American citizen.
The outburst of Palestinian violence, which began in September over tensions at the most holy site in Jerusalem, sacred to both Jews and Muslims, shows no signs of abating.
Israel says the violence is fueled by a Palestinian campaign of lies and incitement, compounded on social media sites that glorify and encourage attacks. Palestinians say it stems from frustration at nearly five decades of Israeli rule and dwindling hopes for gaining independence.