An Israeli man was in serious condition after he was stabbed by a Palestinian teenager in Jerusalem in the latest of a spate of similar incidents that have escalated tensions in the region. The 25-year-old yeshiva student was taken to a local hospital with wounds to the upper body after he was knifed by a 15-year-old near the police headquarters in the Ammunition Hill area. Police said the assailant has been arrested at the scene.
Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld tweeted:
The stabbing came as tensions are running high in the West Bank and East Jerusalem following a wave of violence. On 7 October a teenaged Palestinian woman stabbed a Jewish man who subsequently shot her in retaliation in the Old City of Jerusalem, while three other Palestinians were injured as undercover Israeli officers who had infiltrated a protest in the West Bank turned their guns on demonstrators.
Two days earlier, on 5 October, two Palestinian teenagers were shot dead by Israeli troops in separate incidents in the occupied West Bank. Earlier, Israel banned Palestinians from entering the Old City for the first time since Israel seized the area during the 1967 Six-Day War. The move followed the stabbing of a 15-year-old Israeli by a Palestinian teenager, who was then shot dead by an Israeli officer.
Earlier on 8 October, prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu banned all Israeli minsters and lawmakers from visiting a sensitive holy site in Jerusalem over security concerns. The order not to climb on Temple Mount initially applied only to Jewish MPs, a limitation that sparked criticism from hard-line conservatives and was later removed.
The flashpoint hilltop compound known as al-Haram al-Sharif (The Noble Sanctuary) to Muslims has long been at the centre of disputes and violence with Palestinians. It is considered the holiest site for Jews, but it's also Islam's third holiest site after Mecca and Medina and contains the famous al-Aqsa mosque.
The site has been administered by an Islamic Waqf (trust), under the authority of Jordan, since the Crusades, while Israel has controlled access to it since the occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967, also implementing a ban on all non-Muslim prayers as a security measure.
Visits by Israeli politicians are controversial and often seen as a provocation. In 2000, a tour by then-opposition leader Ariel Sharon served as prelude to the second Palestinian intifada.
Meanwhile the Palestinian Authority appealed to the UN Security Council to act to halt Israeli violations of international law, saying some 630 Palestinians have been injured by Israeli troops since 3 October.
A letter from the Palestinian ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour, read: "We call for urgent international attention to compel Israel to halt its illegal policies and practices, to ensure immediate protection to the defenceless Palestinian civilian population and prevent the situation from spiralling out of control."