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Attacks in Tel Aviv and West Bank leave five dead

Two separate incidents in Israel have led to the deaths of five people, according to the Israeli Defence Force.

The first attack took the form of a stabbing in Tel Aviv, which occurred outside a shop where a prayer service was taking place. Two people were killed, and a third person was injured; he was saved when people inside the shop blocked the door as his attacker tried to follow him inside. A man believed to be the assailant was arrested shortly after the incident. He has since been identified as a Palestinian from Hebron, in the West Bank. He had permission to be in Tel Aviv because he worked in a nearby café.

The second attack, which occurred later in the day, involved a Palestinian gunman who opened fire at a minibus outside the West Bank settlement of Alon Shivat. After the initial burst of gunfire, the man then drove his car into a group of nearby pedestrians before being killed by IDF soldiers. Reports indicate he was still firing and attempting to exit the vehicle when he was shot.

The attacks are part of a series of incidents that have taken place over the past seven weeks and the death toll of five represents the highest daily casualty rate of any 24-hour period since the crisis began. The roots of the conflict are in a dispute regarding a site in Jerusalem which is known to the Jews as the Temple Mount. To the Palestinians, it is known as the Noble Sanctuary and its status as a high value religious site to both sides of the Arab-Israeli divide has caused numerous problems in the past.

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