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Monday, November 20, 2017

By Batsheva Sobelman, Los Angeles Times

JERUSALEM — A young Israeli woman was stabbed to death outside a Jewish settlement in the West Bank on Monday, officials said, hours after a Palestinian assailant stabbed and critically wounded an Israeli soldier in Tel Aviv. Two others were injured in the West Bank attack.

The violence came amid a spike in tensions that followed months of street clashes in Jerusalem and a weekend of rioting in Arab towns inside Israel after the police killing of a young Arab Israeli man who battered a police vehicle with officers inside.

Details were sketchy about the attack in the West Bank, but the Associated Press reported that the young woman and the two others were assaulted at a bus stop outside the settlement of Alon Shvut. Initial reports described the victim as a teenager, but authorities later said she was 25.

In the other attack, in Tel Aviv, police officials and eyewitnesses said an assailant stabbed the soldier several times with a knife at the Haganah train station before being intercepted by two passersby, who chased him and alerted police as he fled.

The victim, described only as a 20-year-old soldier, was stabilized after resuscitation efforts at the scene and transferred to the nearby Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer with critical injuries.

Police forces pursued the suspect and apprehended him on the top floor of a building 200 yards away from the scene. He was taken into custody with reportedly light injuries sustained during a struggle and the arrest.

The Palestinian news agency Maan identified the assailant in the Tel Aviv incident as 18-year-old Nur al-Din Abu Haysha, from the Askar refugee camp in Nablus. According to Israeli police, the attacker had entered Israel without a permit.

“We regard this incident as extremely grave,” Tel Aviv police commander Benzi Sau told reporters at the site of the Tel Aviv attack. Preliminary information suggests the assailant had also tried to grab the soldier’s weapon, he said.

Sau urged the public to alert the police to any suspicious person or behavior. “This is part of the current vigilance we all live in, police and civilians as one,” he said.

The attacks are part of a spate of violence that appears to be spreading on both sides of the so-called Green Line.

Visiting the scene of the Tel Aviv attack, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonowitz was heckled by citizens who asked, “Where is the security?”

“I had no doubt that terrorism would reach Tel Aviv,” hawkish lawmaker Danny Danon told local media. He urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Aharonowitz to “stop talking and start acting.”

Earlier Monday, Dannon announced he would run for chairman of the Likud party against Netanyahu, whom he said has “lost his way” and abandoned the party’s policy on diplomacy and security issues.

AFP Photo/Jack Guez

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