Wave of violence flares-up, ahead of Jewish high-holidays

A wave of violence, which plagued Israel since October of last year, has yet again struck the country with several attacks recorded over the weekend. Early this morning, two police officers suffered moderate to serious injuries in a stabbing attack at Jerusalem’s Herod’s Gate of the old city. The attacker, reported to be a Palestinian resident of east Jerusalem, attacked the officers who responded by firing and neutralizing the assailant. Both officers were transferred to the Sha’are Tzedek medical center for treatment. In another incident yesterday, a Palestinian man stabbed and wounded an IDF soldier in the West Bank city of Hebron. Soldiers that were present at the scene, responded by shooting and killing the attacker. The wounded soldier was then taken to a Jerusalem hospital for further treatment in light-to-moderate condition. Palestinian officials had no immediate comment on the incidents.

Four other separate-incidents were reported in both the West Bank and East Jerusalem. In one of those attack, a Jordanian national visiting Israel attacked border-police officers at the Damascus Gate of Jerusalem’s old city. The troops responded by shooting and killing the assailant. Police told TV7 that the Jordanian national, who entered Israel for prayers at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque, purchased the knives following a prayer service at the Muslim shrine after which he searched for Israeli security forces with deadly intent. The police added that the body of the Jordanian national was transported back to the Hashemite Kingdom.

The wave of violence, which saw near-daily attacks by Palestinians against Israelis across Israel and the West Bank, with car ramming, shooting and stabbing attacks had slowed in recent months, yet a flare-up of the nearly year-old wave of Palestinian street attacks has entered its fourth day. Israeli security officials attributed the rising number of attacks to the upcoming Jewish holidays, expected during the month of October, which on a yearly basis sees tensions rising among Jewish and Muslims worshipers.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during his weekly cabinet meeting, referred to what he defined as the rising “risk threshold” ahead of the Tishrei holidays, which include the Jewish New-Year, the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles; stressing that measures are being implemented to assure security for Israeli citizens.

“There were several attempts to attack IDF soldiers and security forces personnel. I commend the quick reactions of the soldiers and police personnel, and I send, on behalf of the Cabinet, best wishes for a recovery to the wounded.

Ahead of the Tishrei holidays, the risk threshold has risen. The IDF and the Israel Police are boosting their forces. The security forces are on heightened alert. I will meet with them today to ensure that we will be ready to defend our people during this sensitive period. At the same time our eyes are on the north. We will not allow an additional front to be opened against the State of Israel on the Golan Heights, not there and not anywhere else,” said Netanyahu.

Prime Minister Netanyahu also asked Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein to continue to prevent Members of Knesset and ministers from visiting the Temple Mount in the near future and especially during the Jewish High Holidays, to avoid any increase of unnecessary tensions.