Palestinian terrorists stabbed and wounded four Israelis, including two elderly people, on Monday, in two attacks in Rishon Lezion and Netanya.
In a third incident, soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian, 16, who tried to stab a soldier near the Gilboa checkpoint in the West Bank.
In Rishon Lezion, a Palestinian man from Hebron stabbed three Israelis – including an 80-year-old woman late in the afternoon.
The assailant, described by police as a 19-year-old man from Hebron, stabbed a passenger on a bus in Rishon as it reached the corner of Herzl and Tarmav Street, in a central part of the city packed with people.
The terrorist then stabbed another victim on the sidewalk, police said, before stabbing a third victim and fleeing into several stores.
The attacker first tried to enter a clothing store, but an employee told reporters she had seen the terrorist coming her way and managed to shut the door in time to keep him out. Instead, the terrorist entered a cosmetics store next door.
In surveillance camera footage from the scene, the attacker can be seen running up behind a woman and slashing her in the back, forcing her to fall to the ground.
He then continued running down the street as bystanders give chase. Police soon arrived at the scene and arrested him.
A mob quickly gathered at the scene of the arrest, with dozens of locals trying to reach the terrorist to attack him and a number of people in the crowd shouting for him to be killed. Police managed to spirit the suspect away before anyone could harm him.
The victims of the attack included the 80-year-old woman from Rishon Lezion, who was seriously wounded, a 31-year-old man from Bnei Brak with serious wounds, and a 26-year-old man from Rishon Lezion who was lightly hurt. Five other people were treated for shock at the scene, police said.
Yitzhak Sharf, deputy head of Assaf Harofeh Hospital, said the 80-year-old woman sustained stab wounds to her waist and back, with internal injuries and a fracture to one of her knees. The man in his 30s was hospitalized with stab wounds in his chest and stomach, Sharf said.
Magen David Adom said its paramedics found the wounded elderly woman lying on the sidewalk conscious and bleeding with an open stab wound to her upper body, and another victim, 26, sitting on the pavement wounded in one of his legs.
The third victim was treated by MDA on the city bus where he was stabbed and told paramedics there was mass confusion on the vehicle when the attack occurred; that he had felt a sudden blow to his back and lay down until help arrived.
Not long after the attack in Rishon Lezion, a Palestinian man, 22, from the West Bank city of Tulkarm attacked a 71-year old man in nearby Netanya, stabbing him in the upper body and seriously wounding him.
The assailant then fled through a residential neighborhood as bystanders gave chase.
Ch.-Supt. Yitzhak Mordechai, commander of the Netanya police, said a police patrol happened to be in the neighborhood and saw a group of locals running, who then directed the cops toward the attacker.
Mordechai said the officers got out of their car and pursued the man on foot, eventually cornering him and shooting him as he charged them yelling “Allahu Akbar.” The man was seriously wounded and taken into custody.
As the Palestinian suspect was being placed under arrest, a large crowd of locals gathered and a number of people tried to attack him. Police arrested two men for assaulting him, and both will face charges, Mordechai said.
“I would like to tell the public that we will not allow any incidents of people harming police or trying to lynch people,” Mordechai said.
Earlier in the day Judea and Samaria police thwarted an attempted terrorist attack against security forces in Hebron.
Based on intelligence information, detectives stopped a Palestinian car near the Kiosk checkpoint by the village of Azaria outside of Jerusalem.
Policemen inspected the car and found an improvised explosive device under one of the seats. They arrested the five Palestinians who were in the car, all of them residents of Hebron.
Police believe that the Palestinians intended to use the explosive device against Israeli security forces in Hebron.
Separately in Hebron, Judea and Samaria police with the help of the IDF arrested a Palestinian man after finding a rifle and a shotgun in his home.
In another part of the West Bank, two Palestinian terrorists attempted to stab a soldier Monday morning outside the Gilboa checkpoint near Jenin. One of the Palestinians, 16, was shot and killed, while the other was arrested.
The attack occurred after soldiers from the Beduin Desert Battalion spotted two suspects at a nearby gas station, some 150 meters from the crossing, and asked them to stop for a security check.
One of the suspects produced a knife and ignored warnings to lay down the weapon. Soldiers opened fire, wounding him, while the second suspect was arrested.
The terrorist received medical aid at the scene, but later succumbed to his wounds. It was the third attack at the Gilboa checkpoint in 10 days.Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.