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Four Israelis injured in stabbing attack in southern city of Kiryat Gat

An assailant injured four Israelis, including a 13-year old girl, in the latest attack. US Secretary of State John Kerry is to visit Israel in the coming days to help with 'stopping the violence.'

Police were hunting a suspect who fled the scene of the stabbing in the southern city of Kiryat Gat on Saturday, officials said.

The "confirmed terror attack" near the football stadium left four people wounded, one of them critically, according to the police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld. A 13-year old girl was among the injured.

"Additional police, anti-terrorist and undercover units are combing the area and looking for the attacker who remains at large," Rosenfeld said.

The attack bears the hallmarks of the recent spike in violence between Israelis and Palestinians, caused by a dispute over Jerusalem's most sensitive holy site, the Al-Aqsa mosque.

Raiding Hebron radio

Also on Saturday, Israeli troops raided a Palestinian radio station in Hebron, the largest West Bank city, where hundreds of

Jewish settlers live in heavily guarded enclaves.

Israeli military officers said the radio was shut down because it broadcast calls to attack Israelis.

Station manager Amjad Shawar said more than 40 soldiers took part in the raid, seizing or destroying equipment.

"They also […] gave us an order banning us from working for six months because they accuse us of incitement," he said.

Kerry to call for calm

The US State Department announced on Saturday that Secretary of State John Kerry would visit Israel in the coming week.

His visit would focus on "stopping the violence in Israel, Jerusalem and the West Bank," as well as on Syria and the Islamic State, the officials said.

The talks are aimed at exploring a "variety of ideas" on easing tensions, a senior US official told the Reuters news agency.

At least 17 Israelis have been killed in Palestinian attacks since the latest escalation of violence started in early October. At least 84 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli fire, including 52 alleged attackers and dozens more protesters.

Following a slight easing of tensions in mid-November, the violence picked up again this week.

Five people died in a series of attacks on Thursday,

including an American citizen.

dj/jm (AP, AFP, Reuters, dpa)

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