Several wounded in attack on Israel bus station

Forty-one Palestinians and seven Israelis have died in the recent street violence

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Two attackers, thought to be Palestinians, stabbed and opened fire on bystanders at the central bus station in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba on Sunday, injuring at least seven people, Al Arabiya’s correspondent reported.

A person has died after being wounded in the shooting attack Sunday, a hospital said.

Beersheba's Soroka hospital said in a statement that 10 people were evacuated to its trauma room and one of them was pronounced dead on arrival.

In one of the most serious Palestinian attacks against Israelis during this month's upsurge of violence, police said the attacker was shot dead after a protracted gun battle, police said.

Palestinian media outlets named the attacker as Asam al-Araj from Shuafat, on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

A number of the wounded were police officers. Hospital officials said two people were in critical condition.

Initial reports had said two attackers were involved but the regional police commander said investigators later believed there was only one.

It was the latest in a series of attacks by Palestinians targeting civilians and security forces in Israel and the West Bank in a wave of violence and unrest raising fears of a full-scale Palestinian uprising.

Forty-two Palestinians have been killed -- including attackers wielding knives and protesters -- since an upsurge in violence began on October 1, while seven Israelis have lost their lives.

On Saturday, Israeli authorities said four Palestinians had been shot dead and a fifth seriously injured in thwarted knife attacks in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.

Israel says it is keeping the status quo at the holy compound, which is also revered by Jews as the location of two destroyed biblical Jewish temples.

Read also: Has the status quo in and around Al-Aqsa compound changed?

On Saturday evening, a Palestinian stabbed and wounded an Israeli border policeman at the Qalandia crossing in the West Bank, a police spokesman said. The attacker was initially shot and wounded in the leg.

During a follow-up body search, the attacker drew a second knife and tried to stab another officer, after which he was shot dead, the spokesman said.

In East Jerusalem and Hebron, two Palestinians who also attempted knife attacks were killed and another was seriously wounded, Israeli authorities said. One Israeli border policewoman was lightly wounded.

A fourth Palestinian was shot dead, also in Hebron, but there were conflicting reports about the incident.

Israel’s military said the Palestinian attempted to stab an Israeli civilian, who was carrying a gun and shot the attacker dead. A Palestinian man told Reuters that his daughter, a high school student, had seen the shooting and said it happened when Jewish settlers attacked an unarmed Palestinian.

There has also been violence along the Gaza-Israel border. Israel’s army defused a rocket that it said had been fired by Gaza militants overnight and landed in an open area.

(with AFP and Reuters)

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