A Palestinian shouting "God is Great" stabbed two Israelis to death and wounded three more when he ran amok with a knife in Jerusalem's main shopping street Wednesday, police said.

Jewish passers-by captured the assailant and a companion and kicked and beat them before police intervened to take them away, witnesses said.It was the most serious attack in Jewish West Jerusalem since the start of a nearly 17-month-old Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The dead included a 90-year-old man, stabbed in the chest, whose wife was in critical condition, hospital spokesmen said.

Police said the second fatality was a 60-year-old man.

The attack occurred one day after Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, in his first official visit to France, declared that the PLO Charter calling for the destruction of Israel was null and void.

Police said the assailant, about 25, was from Ramallah, a Palestinian town in the occupied West Bank where troops and demonstrators have clashed frequently during the uprising against Israeli rule.