An 18-year-old woman is in serious condition after being stabbed by a Palestinian man in the northern Israeli city of Afula.

The woman on Monday afternoon collapsed in front of a coffee house in the centre of the city with stab wounds on her upper body after telling passersby that she had been stabbed by an Arab man, according to reports.

Police who arrived at the scene identified a man who had begun to flee, and refused calls to stop. Officers fired at his feet, and then arrested him and discovered that he was carrying a knife, according to the Israel Police.

The arrested man is a Palestinian resident of the West Bank city of Jenin in his 30s, according to police.

Police have not determined whether it was a nationalistically motivated terror attack.