JERUSALEM, Oct 22 (Reuters) - A suspected Palestinian assailant stabbed and seriously wounded an Israeli man in Jerusalem on Saturday, a police spokesman said.
Spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said police suspected the motive behind the incident in the Ramot neighborhood in East Jerusalem was to carry out a terrorist attack and that witnesses saw the suspect fleeing the scene.
The victim, a 20-year-old Israeli man, was taken to hospital with serious injuries in the upper part of his body, Rosenfeld said. Police launched ground and air searches for the assailant, he added.
The incident came four days after a prisoner swap between Israel and Hamas Islamists procured freedom for soldier Gilad Shalit held in the Gaza Strip for more than five years, in exchange for the release of hundreds of Palestinians from Israeli jails charged with lethal attacks against Israelis.
Tensions have also risen in recent days over reports of Israeli plans to expand settlement construction in East Jerusalem, which it captured in a 1967 war and annexed as part of its capital in a move never recognized internationally.
Palestinians want to make East Jerusalem the capital of a state they seek to establish in Gaza and the occupied West Bank.
(Writing by Allyn Fisher-Ilan)