A Palestinian has stabbed and critically wounded an Israeli soldier near a train station in Tel Aviv, Israeli police have said.
Monday’s incident came amid continuing tension in parts of Israel and the occupied territories following the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque by Israeli soldiers last Wednesday.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said officers had arrested the attacker, who had stabbed the soldier several times, adding that he was a Palestinian from the town of Nablus in the occupied West Bank.
“He is currently under interrogation,” Rosenfeld said.
According to a witness, who talked to Israeli radio, the attacker, ran in the direction of Levanda Street after the incident.
“I chased him, and came back and saw the soldier writhing on the ground,” the witness said.
A spokeswoman at the Tel Aviv hospital where the wounded soldier is being treated described his condition as grave, the AP news agency reported. He is reported to be at his twenties.
Ongoing unrest has been triggered by Muslim fears of Jewish encroachment at the sacred site where the Al-Aqsa mosque stands, a hilltop plateau known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif, or Noble Sanctuary, and to Jews as the Temple Mount.
The fatal shooting of an Israeli Arab by a policeman on Saturday in the Israeli Arab town of Kfar Kana gave a new impetus to the tensions, after the release of a video that appeared to show the man backing away from police when he was shot.
Since Israel annexed East Jerusalem in 1967, Jewish worshippers have been allowed to visit, but not pray, at Haram al-Sharif.
On Saturday, a Palestinian rammed his car into pedestrians in central Jerusalem, killing two Israelis. Police shot the driver dead. Al Jazeera