Two Israeli males were killed while a 22-year-old woman, along with her two-year-old baby, were wounded Saturday night by a Palestinian attacker in the Old City of Jerusalem near Lions' Gate.
The two males, one of whom was the baby's father, were evacuated to hospital in critical condition and later declared dead. The baby was lightly wounded and the mother was in moderate-serious condition.
One of the deceased was later identified as Nehemia Lavi (41) a 23-year resident of the Old City, a father of seven, and rabbi for the IDF (res). He previously served in the IDF as a combat soldier. Lavi's friends said that he descended to the scene of the attack with his handgun to stop the attacker but was stabbed instead and the Palestinian took his weapon.
The deceased father of the baby was identified as Aaron Bennett (24), and his wife was named as Adele.
Bennett was an IDF soldier through Project Shahar, which integrates haredim into the army.
The baby and its parents were on their way to pray at the Western Wall. They had spent Shabbat at the home of Adele's father, a rabbi.
One female witness manage to escape the scene and alert security forces located some 50 meters from the scene. A police officer rushed to the area where he shot and killed the attacker.
A police spokesperson said the attacker, 19-year-old Mohand Halabi from Ramallah, first stabbed the father of the baby and took his gun, which he used to fire at group of nearby tourists until he was neutralized.
In a Facebook post on Friday, Halabi said he believed that the third Intifada had already begun.
Hamas called the attack "heroic" and said "We support and welcome any resistance activity that harms Israeli soldiers and settlers. Our people in the West Bank are ready to die, to sacrifice themselve to defend the Al-Aqsa Mosque."
Police Chief of the Jerusalem District Moshe Erdi arrived at the scene and told the media that the attacker was neutralized within two minutes and that such incidents are "part of the reality of living in the Old City."
Given the security situation in Jerusalem, police have decided that for two days, entry to the Old City will be restricted to Israeli citizens, residents of the Old City, tourists, owners of businesses in the city and students who go to school there.
The incident in Jerusalem was not the only act of violence against Israelis to occur on Saturday night. A firebomb was thrown at a military vehicle in the area of Hebron, setting the car on fire. None of the soldiers were inside the vehicle at the time.
One man was lightly wounded in the West Bank when his car was stoned by unknown assailants.
An ambulance was also attacked by stone throwers, but was able to continue its emergency evacuation to the hospital.
Jewish Israelis also initiated a few incidents on Saturday. An Arab driver was attacked by Jews in Jerusalem and wounded a pedestrian as he fled.
Additionally, four right-wing activists were arrested near Jaffa Gate as they protested and attempted to block the streets. One participant of the protest attacked an Arab with pepper spray in a nearby restaurant.
The new attack comes after a string of incidents that have increased tensions in Jerusalem and the West Bank including a shooting attack that killed two Israelis on Thursday in front of their children.
That attack was followed by a night of "price tag" attacks in revenge.