Police in the southern occupied West Bank have said they have detained a Palestinian assailant who attacked them with a knife and gun while they were investigating the attack on a Palestinian family.
The attack happened near the Al-Shati refugee camp, located in the central occupied West Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, near the entrance to the al-Aqsa mosque compound.
An eyewitness, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said he was in the home of a Palestinian man who was on his way home from the nearby Al-Kashr prayer site.
The witness said that the man who attacked him with a sword was wearing an army uniform and was armed with a small knife.
The assailant, who has been identified as 29-year-old Nabil al-Hajj, also had a knife in his hand, the witness said.
A nearby Palestinian man was also wounded in the attack.
Police officers were seen rushing to the scene, where they found Hajj in a pool of blood, with a large knife in hand.
A knife, which appeared to be an automatic weapon, was recovered from the scene.
Hajd told the Jerusalem Post that he was attacked by a group of armed Palestinians after they stopped him from leaving the Al Jazeera offices in Silwan.
“I was just going home, and when I got there they said I was with the terror organization,” he said.
Hijaj, who is from the city of Hebron, said that he had been receiving death threats in recent weeks and was unable to leave the city without police protection.
Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, has called on the international community to intervene in the case.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has called for the release of all Palestinian prisoners held by Israel in an attempt to pressure Israel to release Palestinian prisoners.
The Al Jazeera office in Silwa was not damaged in the assault.
The Israeli army said in a statement on Saturday that a knife was recovered at the scene of the incident.
The statement said that during the investigation, the assailant was identified as Nabil Hajj.
It said the assailant has been detained by Israeli security forces, who were searching for him at the time of the attack, but that he is not under arrest and was not being questioned by police.
A security source told The Associated Press news agency that Israeli police detained Hajj after he attempted to enter Silwan from a different area in the neighborhood, after the family of the assailant, also from Hebron.
The incident comes as Israel has continued to crack down on Palestinians who attempt to enter Israeli cities from the Gaza strip, as part of its broader efforts to crack its hold on the territory.
The army has announced that Israel will continue to expand its crackdown on Palestinians in the West for a further five years.
Israel imposed a sweeping clampdown on the Palestinian population after the Gaza war in 2014.
Since then, more than 6,500 Palestinians have been killed in the violence, including 3,300 Israelis.
In response, Hamas, which controls Gaza, has condemned Israel for its “crimes” and urged Palestinians to return to their homes in the occupied West bank.
Hussein Abu Khdeir, a spokesman for Hamas, told Al Jazeera that the Palestinian Authority should return to the Gaza border and impose a blockade on the Strip.
He said that Israel should also allow Palestinian refugees to return home to return into their homes and that they should leave the West bank to protect the lives of their families.
Hatem Abu Nasser, the Palestinian health minister, told the AFP news agency on Saturday: “We are waiting for Israel to return our homes.
We will return home at the end of the month.”
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said that his movement has not yet decided whether to make a statement.
Al Jazeera’s Shadi Hamid, reporting from Jerusalem, said: “The fact that this incident took place in the heart of Silwa and that the family is a large Palestinian family shows that the authorities have effectively taken over Silwa.”
Israeli security officials said that they had not yet been able to locate the assailant.