Soldier knifed in Tel Aviv train station

Soldier knifed in Tel Aviv train station
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu: Promised harsh response

An Israeli soldier has been stabbed in a Tel Aviv train station and police have arrested a Palestinian suspected of attacking him as part of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the assailant was from the West Bank city of Nablus and was held immediately after the stabbing.

“He is presently under interrogation,” he said.

A spokeswoman at the Tel Aviv hospital where the wounded soldier is being treated described his condition as grave.

Tensions between Israelis and Palestinians have been extremely high in recent weeks, following last summer’s war in the Gaza Strip and increasing friction over a contested Jerusalem holy site.

The fatal shooting of an Israeli Arab by a policeman early on Saturday in the town of Kfar Kana gave new impetus to the tensions, following the release of a video that appeared to show the man backing away from police when he was shot.

The police’s internal investigations department is looking into the shooting to determine whether proper protocol was followed.

Arab citizens make up some 20% of Israel’s population. They enjoy full citizenship but share the ethnicity and culture of the Palestinians in the occupied territories.

They have long complained of discrimination and often identify with Palestinian nationalism, rather than Israeli.

Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised a harsh response to an ongoing wave of Arab violence following the attack.

Speaking to members of his Likud Party, he said he will use all means available to stop weeks of unrest that has shaken east Jerusalem, northern Israel and Tel Aviv.

He also said that he will pursue new measures, including demolishing the homes of instigators.

In a veiled threat toward Arab demonstrators in Israel and east Jerusalem, he said attackers should consider moving to the West Bank or Gaza Strip.

“Believe me, we will put no difficulties in your path,” he said.

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