Jerusalem: “Worst terror attack this year”

In what Israeli security officials defined as the “worst terror attack this year”, three Palestinians carried out a simultaneous attack on Friday night, in two areas near the Damascus gate of Jerusalem’s Old City, killing one female border police officer and injuring four others, including three civilians and one policeman. Police said that the three Palestinian assailants used a home-made automatic rifle, as well as butchers’ knives in the terror attack. Israeli forces stationed at the scene managed to neutralize the attackers within seconds, as they opened fire and killed all three terrorists. Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat who arrived at the location of the terror attack, commended the swift response of the Israeli security forces, saying their determination to neutralize the terrorists prevented additional casualties.

“We had a terror attack, here at the outskirt of, not far from the Temple Mount, right outside of the old city of Jerusalem. It was a terror attack by three terrorist that attacked some of our soldiers and actually a border police and policeman. They were neutralized very very quickly within few seconds in one incident, and in another minute or two minutes, the other incident.” / “If you look at terror attack around the world, that sometimes takes hours or many minutes this terror attack took, the first incident it was two scenes, the first took few seconds, the second took one to two minutes, very very quickly it was over and the three terrorists are killed,” said Barkat.

The Islamic State released a statement on its Amaq news agency, claiming responsibility for the attack, marking the first time the extreme Muslim group claims an attack in Israel. Security Officials said, however, that it remained unclear whether the Islamic State was truly behind the incident, as additional terror groups have released similar statements claiming responsibility for the attack.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during his weekly cabinet meeting, lashed out at the Palestinian Authority of President Mahmoud Abbas, as it issued a statement condemning the Israeli border police for the killing of the three terrorists, rather than condemning the act of terror that claimed the life of an Israeli officer. Netanyahu continued by pointing to an absurd fact in which the Palestinian Authority will now provide the families of the terrorists with financial compensation, a reality that both Israel, as well as other countries around the world, strongly condemn.

“Instead of condemning the attack, Fatah – which is headed by Abu Mazen (President Mahmoud Abbas) issued a statement in which it condemned the Border Police fighters who killed the terrorists, and praised the murderers as heroes. It seems that deceit and brazen gall knows no bounds. Of course, the Palestinian Authority is refusing to condemn the murder and the same Authority will now pay financial compensation to the murderers’ families. I call on the countries of the world to condemn both the murder and those who praise it and demand the immediate cessation of Palestinian Authority payments to the families of terrorists, something that only encourages terror,” said Netanyahu.

Netanyahu further noted that Israel decided on several measures in response to the attack: to revoke the entry visas for Muslim worshipers entering Israel for the holyday of Ramadan, as well as to demolish the homes of the terrorists.  “Since Friday, the security forces have been operating in the district of the terrorists’ village and are preparing to demolish their homes. We have revoked Palestinians’ visits in Israel that we approved for Ramadan and I have instructed the police to reinforce security arrangements and checking procedures in the plaza around Damascus Gate,” added Netanyahu.

Thousands of mourners gathered on Sunday, midnight, to bury the 22 years old Israeli border police officer, Hadas Malka, who was killed in the terror attack. Hadas was critically wounded from stab wounds, when she was rushed to the Hadassah Mount Scopus Medical Center for treatment, yet succumbed to her wounds upon arrival.