JERUSALEM- An Israeli woman was killed and three others wounded Monday in two separate Palestinian knife attacks as months of unrest in Jerusalem spread across Israel and the occupied West Bank.
Monday’s violence began in Tel Aviv where a Palestinian teenager from the northern West Bank stabbed a 20-year-old soldier, leaving him in critical condition. The assailant fled but was arrested.
Hours later, another Palestinian attacked three Israelis outside Alon Shvut settlement in the southern West Bank, killing a young woman and wounding two other people before a security guard shot and critically wounded him.
The bloodshed took place after months of clashes and unrest in and around annexed east Jerusalem which spread to Arab areas of Israel at the weekend after police shot dead a young Arab-Israeli during a routine arrest operation.
The European Union strongly condemned the attacks, with the office of EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini “extremely worried” by the current situation and warning it could further deteriorate “in the absence of political perspective”.
Since the summer, Israel has significantly increased police presence on the streets in a bid to rein in the unrest, but has been unable to stop a growing number of attacks by lone Palestinians, most of them in Jerusalem.
But Monday’s violence was further afield.
“A car stopped at the hitchhiking stop at the entrance to Alon Shvut, the driver got out of the car and stabbed three civilians who were standing there,” police spokeswoman Luba Samri said of the incident in the southern West Bank.
A woman of about 25 was killed and two men were lightly to moderately wounded, medics said. Police said all three were Jewish settlers.
Their attacker, who was identified as Maher Hamdi al-Hashlamon, was shot and seriously wounded by the settlement’s security guard. He was taken to a Jerusalem hospital, police said.
Palestinian security sources said Hashlamon was from the southern city of Hebron.