JERUSALEM – Two Israelis were injured in a knife attack by a young Palestinian man, who was shot dead by police in Jerusalem on the last Friday of Ramadan, a day when a large number of Muslims are expected to gather and pray at the al-Aqsa mosque compound.
The stabbing attack took place in the Old City of east Jerusalem.
“(A) Palestinian terrorist, age 19, carried out stabbing attack. 2 Israelis injured,” Israel Police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld tweeted, adding one of the injured was serious.
Rosenfeld said security in Jerusalem has been heightened.
Another police spokesperson said the attacker was from West Banks and was shot dead by the police, without revealing the Palestinian teenager’s identity.
He said that the two injured men were admitted to a hospital.
The first stabbing took place at 6.30 am near the Damascus gate, one of the main entrances to the walled Old City, where thousands of Muslims were expected to enter and offer midday prayers at the al-Aqsa mosque to observe the last Friday of the holy month of fasting.
The victim, aged around 50, is in a critical condition with wounds in the torso, the Israeli emergency service Maguem David Adom said.
The second attack took place near the Hurva synagogue in the Jewish district inside the Old City and the 18-year-old victim suffered light to moderate injuries in his back.
Police helicopters and patrol were maintaining surveillance over the area, ahead of the gathering for the Friday prayers.
The last Friday of Ramadan is considered a special day by Muslims in the country and they arrive in Jerusalem in buses from different parts of Israel as well as the Palestinian territories. It is also observed by Muslims across the world as Quds Day, or Youm-e-Quds. Quds is the Arabic name for Jerusalem.