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2 Israelis, 1 Palestinian killed after Jerusalem stabbing

Israeli police says attacker shot after stabbing Israelis in Jerusalem's Old City

03.10.2015
2 Israelis, 1 Palestinian killed after Jerusalem stabbing

JERUSALEM 

At least two Israelis and a suspected Palestinian assailant were killed Saturday in Jerusalem, police said. 

Police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld said the Palestinian was shot after a knife attack in Jerusalem's Old City that also left at least two others injured, including a 2-year-old baby. 

"Two people murdered in terrorist attack in old city, Jerusalem by Palestinian terrorist this evening. Terrorist was shot and killed at scene," Rosenfeld tweeted. 

The attack comes at a time of heightened tension between Palestinians and Israelis. On Thursday, an Israeli couple was killed when their car was shot at near Jewish settlements in the West Bank, leading to reprisal attacks by Israeli settlers who set fire to Palestinian vehicles and land. 

In Washington, State Department spokesman John Kirby strongly condemned "all acts of violence, including the ‎tragic stabbing in the Old City of Jerusalem today that left two victims dead and two injured”.

"We call for all perpetrators of violence to be swiftly brought to justice," he said in a statement. "We are very concerned about mounting tensions in the West Bank and Jerusalem, including the Haram al Sharif/Temple Mount, and call on all sides to take affirmative steps to restore calm and avoid escalating the situation."

Jerusalem's Old City has also been the site of frequent clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police since Sept. 13 because of heavy restrictions on entry to the revered Al-Aqsa mosque compound during a series of Jewish holidays. 

Palestinians see the restrictions as an infringement on their right to worship at the site, considered the third holiest in Islam. Jews refer to the site as the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism, and revere it as the site of historic temples.

Jewish visitors are banned from praying at the site, which they also consider holy, but hardline groups have frequently forced their way onto the Al-Aqsa compound, leading to clashes with security forces. 

With the rising tensions, Palestinian and Israeli authorities have recently attempted to highlight how many have been killed this year. 

The Palestinian Liberation Organization, which governs the West Bank, tweeted Saturday that 35 Palestinians had been killed and 750 injured by security forces or Israeli settlers since January. 

An Israeli military blog post on Thursday also highlighted that, in the same period, three civilians had been killed and 24 had been injured before this week.

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