Israel is deploying additional reinforcements, particularly in Jerusalem, due to a spate of terror attacks.
By Jonathan Hessen and Erin Viner
Jerusalem police shot dead a Palestinian terrorist on Monday after he stabbed two officers at an entry into the walled Old City on Monday, in what was the second such incident in two days.
Both officers, in their early 20s, suffered light to moderate wounds and evacuated to the nearby Shaare Zedek Medical Center for treatment. One of the victims, identified as “Master Sergeant R,” sustained stab wounds to the head after being assaulted from behind, but quickly responded by firing at the assailant.
Israeli Police Commissioner Yaakov “Kobi” Shabtai praised the injured officers during a visit to the hospital, saying they “acted according to the book” and “as we expect of you to operate in such an incident. You have conducted yourself with excellence.”
The Police Chief told the men that their quick action saved the lives of their fellow officers and prevented a possible large scale terror attack if the assailant had not been stopped.
The attacker was identified by the state-run Palestinian Wafa news agency as Abdulrahman Qasem from Jalazon refugee camp near Ramallah in the West Bank.
The Islamist Hamas terror group that rules Gaza identified the attacker as a member. Lauding the stabbing attack, Hamas Spokesperson Hazim Qasem vowed, “These operations will continue as long as the occupation continues its aggression and its violations against the sacred sites in Jerusalem.”
Photos distributed by police showed a bloodied knife on the ground, and a video circulated on social media showed several police officers shouting and pointing their guns at the prone suspect.
Just 13 hours earlier on Sunday, another Israeli policeman was wounded in Jerusalem’s Old City on Sunday by a knife-wielding Palestinian.
A Police Spokesperson said that the 19-year-old approached two officers stationed at one of the city gates before he suddenly “pulled out a knife and stabbed one of them.” Other security forces nearby “responded by firing at him and neutralized the terrorist,” said the Police statement.
Two officers reportedly sustained lightly wounds in the attack, one by the stabbing and the other by ricochet gunfire. A photo distributed by the police showed a knife on the ground near smears of blood.
In other violence later in the day, two Palestinians hurled firebombs at an army post in the Arab village of Abu Dis just outside Jerusalem city limits. According to the IDF Spokespersons Unit, soldiers shot and killed one of the attackers but the other managed to flee.
Palestinian officials identified the assailant as a 16-year-old who later died of his wounds.
Meanwhile, two Israeli Border Police Officers were injured in a car-ramming attack in the West Bank village of Silat al-Harithiya, during preparations for the court-ordered demolition of residences of two Palestinian terrorists who carried out the shooting attack near Homesh on 16 December 2021 that killed Israeli civilian Yehuda Dimantman and wounded two others.
The officers sustained light injuries, and the assailant was captured and taken into custody.
Two Israeli civilians were stabbed by Palestinian assailants last week near the Palestinian town of Hizma within less than 24 hours. A 40-year-old man was administered first aid and evacuated to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in moderate condition after being attacked in the town’s industrial park on 3 March. The previous day, a 48-year-old Israeli man was stabbed several times in the neck after being attacked from behind at a ceramics shop in the Palestinian town. A manhunt is underway for what police believe is the same assailant in both attacks, who fled the scene.
The latest incidents come ahead of Islamic observance of the Ramadan month-long holiday, which has been marked by major violence in recent years.
Ramadan is to begin the evening of Saturday, 2 April.