Three separate attacks by Palestinians across Israel come on same day US vice-president Joe Biden arrived for talks with leaders Netanyahu and Abbas
Three attacks by Palestinians in the space of just over an hour and a half left one dead and at least 13 injured across Israel on Tuesday evening, in incidents that including a mass stabbing in Jaffa during a visit to the coastal city by US vice-president Joe Biden.
The person killed in Jaffa was reportedly an American tourist.
In the spate of attacks – in east Jerusalem, Petah Tikva and Jaffa – attackers used guns and knives against both Israeli police and passersby in one of the of the worst recent days in several months of almost daily attacks.
They coincided with the arrival of Biden on Tuesday for meetings with Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas.
Biden was reportedly visiting the Peres Centre for Peace, a mile away from where the stabbing took place. Initial accounts of the attacks were confused and contradictory.
The worst incident saw a Palestinian stab three Israelis near Jaffa’s port before attacking three more near a popular restaurant on the city’s boardwalk.
An eyewitness identified as Yosef told the Ynet news website: “The terrorist, who was young and wearing a hoodie, came from the Jaffa Port area. Once he was on the boardwalk, he attacked a tourist couple. The woman was stabbed several times, tried to flee, and fell.
“The terrorist then continued to stab the man, and stabbed him in the leg. I was in my car. I ran to him, took the aluminum pylon, and hit the terrorist in the back. He tried to stab me, then he ran.”
The assailant, later identified as a 22-year year old Palestinian man from Qalqiliya, was shot dead by police as he tried to flee towards neighbouring Tel Aviv. Hospital officials later reported that one of those stabbed had died of their injuries.
The series of assaults began with an attack on an ultra-orthodox man who was followed into a liquor store in Petah Tikvah and stabbed.
The victim and the shop’s owner managed to overpower the assailant, who was reportedly stabbed to death with his own weapon.
Jerusalem was the scene of the second attack shortly after when a gunman opened fire on Israeli police in Salah e-Din street in east Jerusalem, seriously injuring two officers before he was killed himself.
Police later identified the gunman as Fouad Tamimi, 25, from the east Jerusalem neighbourhood of Isawiya.