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Two Palestinian Children Have Been Detained for a Jerusalem Knife Attack

Two Palestinian boys aged 12 and 13 have today been arrested by Israeli security forces after stabbing a security guard on Jerusalem's light rail.
Photo by Atef Safadi/EPA

Two Palestinian minors, aged 12 and 13, have been detained by Israeli police after stabbing a security guard on Jerusalem's light rail in Pisgat Zeev, a Jewish settlement, on Tuesday afternoon.

The duo, one of whom was shot and seriously wounded while being subdued by security personnel, are among the youngest Palestinian attackers in a recent spate of violence that has killed 12 Israelis and wounded dozens more.


Earlier this month two Palestinian cousins, aged 13 and 15, stabbed a 13-year-old Jewish Israeli boy in the neck as he exited a shop where he was buying candy. The elder of the attackers, Hassan Manasra, was shot dead when he ran at police with a knife, while 13-year-old Ahmed Manasra was run-over by a passer by before being detained by Israeli security forces.

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The violence over the past six weeks has in part been fueled by an increase in Jewish visits to a controversial holy site known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and Jews as Temple Mount. But Israel has also blamed the recent wave of violence partially on social media websites where users have posted violent videos of attacks, memes glorifying assailants as "martyrs" and how-to guides for carrying out stabbings.

"We are seeing a situation in which Osama Bin Laden meets [Facebook founder] Mark Zuckerberg," Prime Minister Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed earlier this month. "The incitement on the social networks is what is causing the wave of terror."

Assaf Peretz, an eyewitness to Tuesday's light rail attack, told reporters that the "kids" were taken under control of security guards and police that arrived on the scene within a "few minutes."

The Israeli government beefed up security on Jerusalem's public transport routes last month after two Palestinian assailants aged 21 and 22 launched a bloody knife and gun attack on passengers onboard bus 78 killing three Israelis and wounding at least 20 more.


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In response to the young age of the recent attackers Israel's Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked has pushed to reduce the country's minimum age requirement for serving jail time down from 14 to 12.

According to Israel's security forces 44 alleged Palestinian assailants, many teenagers and men in their early 20s, have been shot dead by police, soldiers and security guards since the unrest began.

Also on Tuesday a 37-year-old Palestinian man was shot dead by two security guards after he ran towards them brandishing a knife, according to Israeli police.

Reuters contributed to this report.