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4 Israelis wounded in stabbing in southern Israel, mob attacks Bedouin

Nov. 21, 2015 7:01 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 22, 2015 1:37 P.M.)
Israeli rescue teams and security forces work at the scene of the stabbing in Tel Aviv in November 2014. (AFP/Yotam Ronen/File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A suspected Palestinian stabbed and wounded four Israelis, including a 13-year-old girl, in the southern Israeli city of Kiryat Gat on Saturday evening, before being arrested hours later, Israeli police said.

Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld said that an Israeli man was seriously wounded and two women and a 13-year-old girl moderately wounded in what he described as a "confirmed terrorist attack," which took place on the city's King David Street.

Shortly afterward, Israeli police said that a mob of Israeli civilians violently beat and bound the hands of a Palestinian Bedouin man they incorrectly believed was the attacker.

The four Israelis and the Bedouin were evacuated to Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon.

Following an extensive manhunt, Rosenfeld announced that Israeli police had found the attacker with the knife still in his hand.

Israeli news site Ynet identified him as a Palestinian teenager from Hebron who had been working without a permit in Israel. He was reportedly found "on the same street where the attack took place."

Up to 250 Israeli police officers had earlier taken part in the search for him, which also made use of helicopters, Ynet reported. Roadblocks had been placed at roads leading into Kiryat Gat, effectively putting the city under "lockdown."

On Thursday, four Israelis and one Palestinian were killed in two separate attacks in Tel Aviv and the illegal settlement bloc of Gush Etzion in the southern West Bank. The Palestinian attackers were afterward arrested.

The attacks have accompanied a wave of popular unrest that has swept the the occupied Palestinian territory since the beginning of October.

While Israelis have sought to blame the unrest on religious incitement, Palestinians have pointed to the nearly 50-year military occupation of the Palestinian territory, no prospect of a political solution, and a deep sense of frustration and despair.

At least 86 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces during the period -- many shot dead under circumstances in which rights groups said that Israeli forces used unnecessary force -- while at least 16 Israelis have been killed in the same period.
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