Some four hours after a Palestinian from Nablus stabbed an IDF soldier in Tel Aviv, critically wounding him, another Palestinian stabbed three Israelis at the entrance to the settlement of Alon Shvut in Gush Etzion on Monday evening, killing a young woman and wounding two others.
Dalia Lemkus, 26, from Tekoa, was seriously wounded but attempts to resuscitate her failed and she was pronounced dead at the scene.
A man in his mid-20s was stabbed in the stomach, suffering light-to-moderate wounds, and was taken to the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem's Ein Kerem, a third man in his 50s was lightly wounded, suffering from stab wounds to the jaw, and was taken to the Shaare Zedek Medical Center, also in Jerusalem. The man in his 50s was a driver passing by who saw the attack taking place and stopped to try to stop the stabber.
The terrorist, Maher al-Hashlamun, apparently intended to commit a vehicular terrorist attack. When he failed to run over anyone and drove into the concrete bollards at the hitchhiking stop outside the West Bank settlement, got out of the vehicle and started stabbing the civilians who were there.
He was shot in the chest by Alon Shvut's security guard, and was also taken to Ein Kerem in serious condition.
The terrorist, Maher al-Hashlamun, 30, from Hebron, is a member of Islamic Jihad. He was jailed in Israel from 2000-2005 after he was convicted of throwing Molotov cocktails at an IDF patrol.
Large IDF troops were called to the scene. The attack occurred some 100 meters away from the hitchhiking stop from which three Israeli yeshiva students - Eyal Yifrach, Gil-Ad Shaer and Naftali Frenkel - were kidnapped in June.
Davidi Pearl, head of the Gush Etzion Regional Council, said: "The stabbing attack at the Alon Shvut junction is a direct continuation of the third intifada initiated by Abbas by means of severe and false incitement against the State of Israel. (Palestinian President Mahmoud) Abbas must pay a heavy price both militarily and politically for the terrorism emanating from the territories under the control of the Palestinian Authority, which he has inspired and encouraged. Residents of Gush Etzion today stand on the same front as residents of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and commit to deepening their roots here, building, and developing and so give an eternal retort to despicable terrorism."
Science, Technology and Space Minister Ya'akov Peri (Yesh Atid) told Ynet that while "terror attacks using knives are not new," there is a definite escalation of violence.
The stabbing attacks, he said, "occur frequently as a result of incitement by the Palestinian Authority, in both the Palestinian territories and Israel. In my experience, there's no magic solution, but both sides must show restraint and work towards calming the situation."
Avi Roehm, chairman of the Yesha Council, also placed the blame on incitement from the Palestinian Authority.
"The terrorism caused by Abbas's incitement is trying to turn the whole country into a front line. As the Palestinian Authority sees it, Jerusalem is Tel Aviv is Gush Etzion. The Israeli concessions – the release of terrorists, the disregard for incitement and the glorification of terrorists, and the hesitancy to deal with terrorism in Jerusalem – are the fuel that allows terrorism to return and again," he said.
"The way to respond to terror is through determination. Now, we must launch an operation to eradicate terrorism with widespread arrests, together with renewing settlement construction in Jerusalem, as well as Judea and Samaria," he added.