JERUSALEM—A 13-year-old Israeli boy in Jerusalem, emerging Monday from a candy store and climbing on the bicycle he had parked outside, was set upon by two Palestinian youths and repeatedly stabbed.
One of the Palestinian assailants was also 13.
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The other, reportedly his cousin, was 17. Both were from a nearby Arab neighborhood in northern Jerusalem.
An Israeli driving near the scene rammed his car into the younger assailant, who was taken to hospital in serious condition. The older youth stabbed a man nearby, seriously wounding him, before being shot to death by police.
The Israeli boy was rushed to hospital where his loss of blood appeared to make his situation hopeless. By evening, though, doctors said his situation had stabilized although his condition remained life threatening.
Although Israelis have become accustomed to daily knife attacks over the past two weeks the involvement of two 13-year-olds—one as assailant, the other as victim—was a shock.
Israel Television showed a school bag confiscated by police, which contained notebooks, textbooks and a knife. It was not clear to whom the bag belonged. Until now, almost all assailants in the current round of violence have ranged in age from 17-20.
Elsewhere in Jerusalem, a 16-year-old girl pulled a knife and stabbed a policeman, who was reported to be in light-to-moderate condition. The girl was shot and seriously wounded by other policemen.
An 18-year-old Palestinian, stopped by police just outside the walls of Jerusalem’s Old City and asked to produce his identification card, pulled a knife and stabbed at the officer’s chest. The policeman, however, was wearing flak jacket and was unharmed. The assailant was shot dead.
Since the current round of knife attacks began, police have been shooting the assailants on the spot. In several instances where civilians have overcome a terrorist, he, or she, has generally been taken alive.
The army, which has been confronting mass demonstrations around the West Bank, has used a low-velocity rifle several dozen times to wound rioters determined to be ring leaders, according to a military spokesman.
The Shin Bet security forces, which monitor the riots and are often able to identify some of the leaders, make almost nightly raids to arrest them in their homes.
Palestinians are virtually unanimous in saying that the unrest has been sparked by suspicion that Israel is attempting to undermine the Muslim character of Jerusalem’s Temple Mount by encouraging settlers and other right-wing Israelis to visit the Temple Mount in unprecedented numbers.
Israel’s Channel Two reported Monday that the number of West Bank demonstrations, and the number of demonstrators, is steadily declining despite the ongoing stabbings.