2 Israelis dead, 3 wounded in Palestinian stabbing attacks

Tensions are soaring in Israel after Palestinian stabbing attacks in Jerusalem killed two Israelis and wounded three others, including a toddler, prompting Israeli authorities to take the unprecedented step of closing east Jerusalem's Old City to all Palestinians who do not live, work or study there (all times local).

Adele Banita, whose husband Aharon was killed and her two-year-old child wounded in an attack by a young Palestinian man Saturday night described the horrific assault.

She told Israeli media that she felt something in her back and then saw the Palestinian assailant stabbing her husband before he turned to stab her again. "There were lots of Arabs around looking ... laughing and smiling," she said.

After she tried to help her husband, she said she ran for help. Palestinian onlookers "spat at me and slapped me in the face. While the knife was still stuck in me they slapped me and laughed at me," she said.

Banita said she pleaded with them to help her two-year-old child and was told by the onlookers to "die."

Meanwhile, following the attack, there were reports of Palestinians celebrating in the streets in various parts of the West Bank and Gaza.

And in Israel, thousands attended  the funerals of the two Israelis stabbed to death by a Palestinian attacker in Jerusalem's Old City.

Aharon Banita and Nehemia Lavi were laid to rest Sunday. Banita's wife was seriously wounded in the Palestinian attack while their 2-year-old child sustained light injuries.

President Reuven Rivlin urged Israelis in his eulogy Sunday not to be afraid to visit the Western Wall close to where the attack took place. The Western Wall, a remnant of the biblical Jewish Temple compound, is the holiest site where Jews can pray.

It is located just beneath the hilltop compound that has been a flashpoint for recent violence.

Rivlin said "We must walk in their path of Aharon and Nehemia and prove with action that terrorism will not succeed in disrupting our lives."

Here are the latest developments:

3:30 p.m.

A correspondent for a Lebanese TV station was wounded by an Israeli police projectile while reporting on a clash between Israeli police and Palestinian demonstrators in east Jerusalem.

Hana Mahameed, an Arab-Israeli reporter for Al-Mayadeen TV, says she was hit in the face from a short distance by a sound grenade fired by Israeli police on Sunday.

TV footage of the incident circulated on social media. Later she appeared on camera with a bandage covering most of her face.

Israeli police said the clash took place while forces were detaining the father of a Palestinian teenager who had stabbed and wounded an Israeli teen early Sunday before being shot dead by police.

Israeli police spokeswoman Luba Samri says police responded to demonstrators with "riot dispersal means" and that "whoever is present with law-breaking rioters risks getting injured."


3:00 p.m.

Palestinians in east Jerusalem have gone on strike to protest Israeli restrictions on entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, a sensitive holy site sacred to Jews and Muslims.

Israel took the unprecedented step Sunday of preventing Palestinians from entering east Jerusalem's Old City, where the compound is located, after two Palestinian stabbing attacks in the city killed two Israelis and wounded three others, including a toddler.

The ban does not apply to Palestinians who live, work or study in Jerusalem's Old City, but shops inside its walls, including trinkets stores popular with tourists, closed down in protest.

Shops in other Arab neighborhoods in east Jerusalem were also closed. Few people could be seen at the usually bustling Damascus Gate, the main entrance to the Old City in Arab east Jerusalem.


1:15 p.m.

The head of a West Bank Jewish settler council has set up a protest tent in front of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's residence in Jerusalem, vowing not to leave until the government returns a sense of security to Israelis.

Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan on Sunday called for Israel to accelerate settlement building in the West Bank, saying: "If we are always concerned with what people will say, we will not build, and blood will flow like water."

Tensions have soared in Jerusalem and the West Bank after two Palestinian stabbing attacks in the last 24 hours killed two Israelis and wounded three others, including a toddler.

Both assailants, who were Palestinian teenagers, were shot dead.


9:50 a.m.

A Palestinian medic says Israeli troops shot and wounded at least 18 Palestinians during clashes in the West Bank.

The clashes broke out as troops surrounded the home of a Palestinian suspect in the Jenin refugee camp. Eyewitnesses say Israeli troops fired a "small missile" at the house to force the suspect out.

Monther Irshaid, director of the Khalil Suliman Hospital in Jenin, says two people suffered serious leg injuries.

The Israeli military says a few dozen Palestinians attacked troops with pipe bombs and that troops responded with "riot dispersal means."

The army says troops arrested two Palestinians suspected of "terror activity." It says one armed suspect barricaded himself inside a building and a fire broke out during the arrest, without elaborating. The army says troops found explosive devices inside.


8:45 a.m.

Israeli police say a Palestinian teen who stabbed and wounded an Israeli teen was shot dead by police before dawn in Jerusalem.

The attack early Sunday came hours after a Palestinian teenager fatally stabbed two Israelis in Jerusalem's Old City and wounded a woman and a toddler, before he was shot dead by an Israeli police officer.

Relatives of the teen behind Sunday's attack identified him as Fadi Alloun, 19, from Arab East Jerusalem. He had written on his Facebook page: "Either martyrdom or victory."

In a rare move, Israeli police are preventing Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem from entering the Old City for two days during a Jewish holiday. Palestinians who live, work and study within the Old City, as well as Israelis and tourists, will be allowed entry.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.