Jerusalem: A Palestinian teenager stabbed and critically wounded a young Israeli soldier on Monday as unrest which has already rocked Jerusalem and the north spread to coastal Tel Aviv.
Police described the incident as a "terror attack" and said the perpetrator, who was arrested shortly afterwards, was a Palestinian in his late teens from the northern West Bank who had been staying in Israel illegally.
It was the first time Israel's hedonistic commercial capital has been affected by the current wave of violence that has gripped annexed east Jerusalem for months and spread after police shot dead a young Arab-Israeli during a routine arrest operation.
Saturday's shooting sparked two days of clashes in Arab towns in northern and central Israel, prompting police to raise the nationwide alert to one below the highest level in anticipation of further unrest.
Today's attack saw the Palestinian stab an Israeli soldier aged about 20 outside HaHagana train station in southern Tel Aviv.
"It was apparently an attack with nationalist motives. The suspect is a resident of the Nablus area," police spokeswoman Luba Samri said.
The attacker was arrested while hiding in a nearby apartment building.
Emergency services spokesman Zaki Heller said the victim was "very seriously hurt", with footage from the scene showing a man lying in pools of blood.
"I got to HaHagana bridge with a friend and we saw a big man in a red sweatshirt stabbing a soldier twice, apparently someone from the air force," an eyewitness called Kobi told public radio.
The attacker was identified by family members as 17-year-old Nureddine Abu Hashiyeh from Askar refugee camp east of Nablus.
His father Khaled told that his son, a painter and decorator by trade, had left for Tel Aviv on Sunday.
He attack came as Israel struggles to contain a growing wave of violence which has gripped annexed east Jerusalem for the past four months, but which has recently spread to Arab towns and villages inside the country.
Anger initially erupted in Jerusalem in early July over the murder of a Palestinian teenager by young Jewish extremists.
It has been fuelled by religious tensions at the flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound, as well as by moves to expand settler presence in the occupied eastern sector of the holy city.