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Israeli security guard critically injured in Jerusalem terror stabbing

A 24 year-old Palestinian man being led away by police after stabbing a security guard outside the central bus station in Jerusalem on December 10 2017.
Medabrim Communications
Police have apprehended 24-year-old Palestinian assailant who attempted to flee the scene

An Israeli security guard is in a critical condition in hospital after being stabbed in the chest at the entrance to Jerusalem's central bus station on Sunday in what police deemed a terror attack.

Police confirmed that the assailant, whom they identified as a 24-year-old Palestinian man, was alive and taken into custody.

The victim, who paramedics identified as a 30 year-old male, was attacked on the city's main Jaffa Street outside the central bus station while checking the identity documents of the assailant, identified by Israeli media as Yassin Abu Al Quraa.

Security camera footage of the incident shows the assailant standing just outside metal detectors at the entrance to the bus station and removing his jacket before pulling out a knife and plunging it into the victim's chest and fleeing the scene on foot.

A civilian and police officer gave chase, police said, and overpowered him.

The victim was evacuated to Jerusalem's Shaare Zedek Medical Center in what the hospital described as "very serious" condition.

A senior doctor at the hospital later told journalists that the man, still unnamed, had been stabbed in the heart and was in a stable condition but that his life remains in danger. At 8pm local time the hospital said his condition remained the same.

The United Hatzalah volunteer emergency medical service said that a number of people at the scene were treated for shock.

According to Israel's internal security service, the Shin Bet, the assailant came from the so-called "seam" area between Israel's separation barrier and the 1967 borders, or 'Green Line'.

Israeli media published screenshots of what purports to be a post on the attacker's Facebook page from Saturday, which showed several verses that called for defending Jerusalem's Al Aqsa mosque.

"Our blood is cheap [compared to] the nation, Jerusalem, Al Aqsa," the post reads in part.

The attack comes following three days of clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian protesters who were outraged by US President Donald Trump's backing of Israel's claim over the disputed city of Jerusalem on Wednesday.

Israel Police

Following Trump's declaration, Hamas chief Ismail Haniya called for a new intifada ("uprising" in Arabic) to begin Friday throughout the Palestinian territories.

The call sparked fears that Palestinians would launch both a new wave of "lone wolf" attacks targeting Israelis and possibly larger attacks directed by organized terror groups.

Sunday's incident was the first such attack to take place since Trump's controversial declaration, but later on Sunday the Israeli army said they had received reports that a public bus was shot at by live bullets in the Binyamin region of the West Bank.

No-one was injured in the incident and the army is scouring the area for suspects and to ascertain whether live bullets were used, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement.

On Saturday, two Palestinians were killed in Israeli air strikes which came in response to rockets fired on Friday into Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip. One rocket landed in an empty kindergarten in the southern city of Sderot, police said.

Two other Palestinians were killed along the Gaza border fence during clashes on Friday.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said 171 Palestinians were hurt during clashes in the West Bank and 60 in Gaza, with injuries ranging from gunshot wounds to tear gas inhalation and beating by security forces.

The army gave a significantly lesser toll saying that three Palestinians were lightly injured after "violent riots have erupted at approximately 20 locations" in the West Bank and Gaza.

Israel has long claimed all of Jerusalem as its undivided capital, while the Palestinians see the annexed eastern sector of the city as the capital of their future state.

More to follow.

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