Posts Tagged ‘Damascus Gate’

Palestinian woman stabs, wounds Israeli in Jerusalem

August 12, 2017


© AFP/File | Israeli border police stand guard outside the flashpoint Damascus Gate to Jerusalem’s Old City on June 18, 2017

JERUSALEM (AFP) – A Palestinian woman stabbed and wounded an Israeli man near an east Jerusalem flashpoint on Saturday, before she was arrested, police said.

They said in an English-language statement that the incident occurred next to the Old City’s Damascus Gate, site of repeated past attacks.

It said that a “female Arab terrorist” stabbed the man, injuring him lightly.

The woman, a Jerusalem resident aged about 30, was arrested at the scene, police added.

The Old City is located in east Jerusalem, which was occupied by Israel in 1967 and later annexed in a move never recognised by the international community.

The July 14 killing there of two policemen by three Arab Israeli gunmen led to spiralling unrest after Israel responded by installing metal detectors at the entrance to the Al-Aqsa mosque complex, used as a staging point for the attack.

For nearly two weeks, worshippers refused to submit to the checks and staged mass prayers in surrounding streets.

Ensuing protests left six Palestinians dead.

The crisis abated when Israel removed the detectors but tension remains high.

A wave of unrest that broke out in October 2015 has killed 293 Palestinians or Arab Israelis, 47 Israelis, two Americans, two Jordanians, an Eritrean, a Sudanese and a Briton, according to an AFP toll.

Israeli authorities say most of the Palestinians killed were carrying out knife, gun or car-ramming attacks.

Others were shot dead during protests or clashes, while some were killed in Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip.


Hamas Calls for Attacks on Israeli Army, Settlers as Temple Mount Remains Shuttered

July 15, 2017

Palestinian access to Jerusalem’s Old City was restricted in the wake of a deadly attack; Israelis and tourists could enter undisturbed

Nir Hasson, Jack Khoury and Jonathan Lis Jul 15, 2017 6:16 PM

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Israeli border police officers stop people from entering the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City, Saturday, July 15, 2017. Mahmoud Illean/AP

Analysis Temple Mount attack is a nightmare for Israeli security forces, but the real test is yet to come
Analysis In calculated risk, Israel shutters Jerusalem’s Old City after Temple Mount attack
Victims in Temple Mount shooting: A new father and a son of former lawmaker

Hamas on Saturday called on Palestinians to attack Israeli forces in Jerusalem after the Temple Mount was closed following a deadly attack there.

Hamas described the closure of the site in a statement as a “religious war” and Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum called on the Palestinian “uprising” to target the Israeli army and West Bank settlers.

Barhoum said that closing the Al-Aqsa Mosque “is a new crime against the holy site. These kinds of decisions should be fought at any price.”

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Israel made the rare move after three Israeli Arab assailants opened fire there Friday, killing two Israeli police officers before being shot dead. Hamas has staged a rally celebrating the attack.

The site is revered by both Muslims and Jews. Muslim worshippers as well as employees of the Waqf, the Muslim authority that administers the site, were barred from entering the site for a second day on Saturday.


The rest of the Old City was also shuttered to Palestinians who don’t reside there, while Israelis and tourists are allowed to enter undisturbed.



Large police forces continued to search the Temple Mount on Saturday. According to Palestinian sources, police have entered all the buildings within the complex, including mosques, the Sharia court, and the Waqf archive. In some sites the police sought to break down doors, but ultimately allowed a representative of the Waqf to unlock them to prevent damage.


The Waqf on Saturday released a statement condemning the closure and the searches conducted there by Israeli police after the attack. The statement described the Israeli conduct as a “crime of the Israeli occupation” and a violation of the Muslims’ freedom of worship.

Israeli Arab leaders and religious authorities released a statement on Saturday condemning the police activity and calling for the immediate reopening of the mosques on the Mount. The police said that restrictions at the site will remain in place until further notice.

Knesset Member Yousef Jabareen (Joint List), a resident of Umm al-Fahm and a member of the clan to which the three assailants belonged, said Saturday that Israeli Arabs oppose all violence and use of weapons in their political struggle. “We call on Arab youths to preserve the popular nature of our struggle, thus avoiding causing harm to our way,” he said.

AP contributed to this report

Nir Hasson
Haaretz Correspondent
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Homemade Carlo Submachine Gun Plaguing Israel

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Guns aren’t difficult to make. Submachine guns are some of the easiest to construct with simple tools. Add a $100 electric welder from Harbor Freight and they become a project for a few weekends. Once the templates and jigs are produced for a small shop, they can be turned out with a few hours of labor. Brazil has many simple homemade submachine guns showing up on its street The number found in Israel is rising . . .


A thin strand connects the three most recent shootings in Jerusalem. Similar to other incidents characterizing the current wave of terror, the terrorists didn’t know each other, there was no guiding hand, and there was no coordination. However, all of the attackers used the same weapon – a “Carlo,” as it’s known on the street.

I cringe at the next sentence, but we are used to seeing just as bad in the United States.
Image result for carlo submachine guns, photos

It’s a homemade imitation of the Swedish-made Carl Gustav recoilless rifle, which was used primarily in the 1950s and ’60s

The author obviously confused the Carl Gustav recoilless rifle with the Carl Gustav M/45 9mm submachine gun. The recoilless rifle is about 41 inches long, fires a single 84mm projectile, and weighs about 20 lbs. It has an excellent reputation, but it is not so easily reproduced in small shops, and the ammunition is far harder to come by.
The black market prices for the guns and ammunition are fascinating.  They rather remind me of the prices that are commonly quoted for drugs in the U.S.; often highly inflated.

However, over the years, as the illegal market for standard weapons became more and more expensive – Kalashnikov and Tavor rifles can cost between 60,000 to 80,000 shekels ($15,400-$20,500) – the Carlo was improved and became more widespread. Today, almost anyone can pick up the weapon from a starting price of around 3,000 shekels, up to northward of 17,000 shekels for an especially high-quality version.


 Real Carl Gustav 9mm M/45 show significant similarities to the crude copies.  But the individual/small shop manufacturer left off many things as superfluous.  Things like the stock, sights, and barrel shroud.
There is a mention of 3,500 shekels for 45 cartridges.   That is $900 for 45 cartridges, or $20 a 9mm cartridge!  That seems to be where the real money is.
Ammunition is not hard to make in small shops. There are plenty of sources available on the Internets about the manufacture of ammunition. The hard part for submachine guns: smokeless powder.
Bullets are very simple, cases a bit harder, primers a weekend project. It is easier to make primers than smokeless powder. Smokeless powder takes precursor chemicals and procedures that are not high school chemistry; consistency is important and difficult. But black powder is easy, as many high school students have found out.
Perhaps, if you are going to smuggle in smokeless powder, you just smuggle in 9mm cartridges. They are one of the most common cartridges in the world. For suicide type attacks, only a handful are needed.
In the United States, we do not see as many of these homemade submachine guns, though they show up with some regularity. There are so many other weapons available that there is little incentive to manufacture submachine guns.
A 12-gauge shotgun with buckshot provides the same functionality in the United States as a submachine gun. It has the added advantage of being a good choice for hunting birds and deer with appropriate ammunition. Both guns and ammunition are easily and cheaply available.
These small shop/homemade submachine guns serve to show the futility of banning guns and of the unintended consequences that result from such bans.
[Click here for more information on the Carlo in Israel]
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

Temple Mount Terror Attack Makes It Harder In The Middle East — Expect Escalation

July 15, 2017


 JULY 14, 2017 12:04


Since October 2015 Palestinian youth have stabbed, run over and shot Israeli soldiers and civilians, including some tourists, in a wave of violence in the West Bank and Israel.

Secuirty at Damascus Gate, July 2017

Security at the Damascus Gate, July 2017. (photo credit:MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

For the second time in under a month, assailants have carried out deadly terror attacks in Jerusalem’s Old City, but in a dangerous escalation, Friday’s attack ended with the Israeli-Arab attackers being shot and killed by authorities in the Temple Mount Complex.

While there have been multiple shootings and stabbings in the Old City of Jerusalem in the past two years, attacks on or near the Temple Mount itself are rare and the deaths of the attackers in one of the Islam’s holiest spots could lead to clashes.

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Two Israeli policemen, identified as Hayil Stawi and Kamil Shnan were killed in the attack carried out by 29-year-old Muhammad Ahmad Muhammad Jabarin, and 19 year olds Muhammad Hamed ‘Abd al-Latif Jabarin and Muhammad Ahmad Fadel Jabarin, Israeli-Arab residents of the northern Arab town of Umm el-Fahm.

While residents of Umm el-Fahm have carried out attacks in the past, Friday’s attack marks the first time in recent years that residents of Umm el-Fahm have carried out an attack of this magnitude.

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According to the police, the attackers came from the Temple Mount and opened fire at Israeli officers near the Lions’ Gate exit.  They then fled towards the Temple Mount complex and were killed by police inside the complex.

Their choice of weaponry, a knife and Carlo-Gustav.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened a security briefing with Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Eisenkot, Shin Bet chief Nadav Argaman, Israel Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich, the Defense Ministry’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai.

Erdan called the attack “an extremely serious event which crossed all red lines,” and said that there was a need to “reevaluate all of the security arrangements on the Temple Mount and its environs.”

Last month, a border police officer, 23-year-old Hadas Malka, was stabbed to death in a coordinated attack by three Palestinians near the Damascus Gate, a frequent location of terror attacks.

According to officials, Malka was attacked by two Palestinians, one with a knife and the second with a Carlo-Gustav submachine gun, which jammed without firing.  A third attacker, in a second location, wounded two other Israelis being before shot and killed.

Following that attack, Netanyahu said he was considering turning the Damascus Gate area into a “sterile area,” but it has not been made clear what exactly that meant. Damascus Gate, security personnel have a constant and extensive presence at the main entrance into the Muslim Quarter.

Since October 201,5 Palestinian youth have stabbed, run over and shot Israeli soldiers and civilians, including some tourists, in a wave of violence in the West Bank and Israel. Some 280 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire, a majority of them attackers, according to authorities.

While the violence has since decreased since its peak in the winter of 2016 when there were almost daily attacks, two coordinated shooting attacks in Jerusalem within the span of a month has some questioning what can be done.

With an increase of shooting attacks Israeli security forces, including the Shin Bet intelligence agency, Israeli Defense Forces and police, have increased their efforts to uncover unofficial workshops producing illegal weapons, carrying out near-nightly raids in the West Bank, shutting down weapons factories and confiscating arms.

The IDF has seized approximately 150 firearms and raided 20 workshops since the beginning of 2017 and last year over 50 gun-making workshops were shut down and over  500 illegal weapons seized in 2016, a significant increase from the 170 weapons seized in 2015.

Due to this, the price of the most popular weapon of choice, the Karl Gustav, has tripled in the past year, from 1,500 NIS in January 2015 to 4,500 NIS in December 2016.

But military operations are only one part in stopping future attacks, especially when those who carry them out are from inside Israel. Like many communities across the Arab sector Umm el-Fahm has suffered a disproportionately high rate of violent crime for years. Authorities must intervene on a social level, working with community leaders and family members of those they consider at risk of carrying out an attack to help dissuade them.


Hamas Celebrates Attack at Shrine Killing Israelis in “Religious War.” — Targeting Israelis Continues After Jerusalem Site Attack — Waqf official may have aided Israeli-Arab terrorists

July 15, 2017

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers are calling on Palestinians to attack Israeli forces in Jerusalem after a sacred site was closed following a deadly assault there.

Hamas described the closure of the site — known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount — in a statement Saturday as a “religious war” and Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum called on the Palestinian “uprising” to target the Israeli army and West Bank settlers.

Israel made the rare move after three Palestinian assailants opened fire there Friday, killing two Israeli police officers before being shot dead. The attackers were devout Muslim citizens of Israel.

The Muslim-administered site is revered by both Muslims and Jews. Israel says it won’t reopen before Sunday.

Hamas has staged a rally celebrating the attack.


Waqf official may have aided Israeli-Arab terrorists in Temple Mount attack — report

Police checking if perpetrators had help from Jordanian group that administers site, Channel 10 says; officers raid Umm al-Fahm homes of shooters, break up mourners’ tent

 July 14, 2017, 9:14 pm
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Border Police officers walk on the Temple Mount after a shooting attack in the area left three people injured, two of them seriously, on July 14, 2017. (Israel Police)

Israel Police made a number of arrests in the wake of the deadly terror attack at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on Friday morning, which claimed the lives of two Israeli police officers, and officers were on the hunt for additional suspects who may have helped the three Israeli-Arab perpetrators, police said.

Raids were also conducted on the homes of the terrorists, all from the northern Israeli city of Umm al-Fahm, and a mourners’ tent for the terrorists was broken up.

Channel 10 reported Friday that among those detained were at least one official from the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, the Jordan-based organization that administers the Temple Mount, on suspicion that the shooters received help from inside.

The channel said the official was seen on security footage behaving suspiciously.

Police also said they arrested one person, a 22-year-old from the northern city on suspicion he was directly involved in the attack.

הפיגוע בהר הבית: כוחות היס”מ פירקו את סוכת האבלים באום אל פאחם @samiaah10

Police have not indicated what kind of assistance they believe the Waqf official provided, though Channel 10 said he may have helped the shooters stash the weapons used in the attack. A gag order was imposed on further aspects of the investigation relating to the Waqf.

Channel 10 noted the situation was complicated by the fact that the custodian group answers to Jordan, not Israel.

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Channel 2 news said more vaguely that it was possible that the terrorists had received help from inside the compound, and that this was one of the reasons why police had ordered the closure of the area, for the first time in decades, will they carried out security checks.

The terrorists, Muhammad Ahmed Muhammad Jabarin, 29, Muhammad Hamad Abdel Latif Jabarin, 19 and Muhammad Ahmed Mafdal Jabarin, 19, used two Carlo-style submachine guns and a pistol to carry out the attack. One of them also tried to stab an officer after being apprehended.

A pistol and one of two Carlo-style submachine guns used in a shooting attack that left two Israeli seriously wounded near the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City on July 14, 2017. (Israel Police)

A pistol and one of two Carlo-style submachine guns used in a shooting attack that left two Israeli seriously wounded near the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City on July 14, 2017. (Israel Police)

After the shooting, the terrorists fled toward the Temple Mount and other officers gave chase. The police then opened fire, shooting the terrorists dead inside the complex.

Read the rest:



Security tight, holy site shut after Jerusalem attack

July 15, 2017


© AFP / by Mike Smith | A member of the Israeli security forces stands guard in Jerusalem’s Old City on July 14, 2017 following a shooting

JERUSALEM (AFP) – Security forces locked down parts of Jerusalem’s Old City on Saturday and an ultra-sensitive holy site remained closed after an attack that killed two police officers and heightened Israeli-Palestinian tensions.Three Arab Israeli assailants opened fire on Israeli police Friday in the Old City before fleeing to the nearby Haram al-Sharif, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, where they were shot dead by police.

Israeli authorities said they had come from the flashpoint holy site, which includes the Al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock, to commit the attack.

Israeli authorities took the highly unusual decision to close the Al-Aqsa mosque compound for Friday prayers, leading to anger from Muslims and Jordan, the holy site’s custodian.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has signalled it is to remain closed until at least Sunday while security was assessed.

He also spoke of increasing security at entrances to the holy site when it reopens — likely to be a controversial move.

On Saturday, there was restricted access through Damascus Gate, the main entrance used by Palestinians into Jerusalem’s Old City, with only residents with identification being allowed to pass.

Around 20 Palestinians waited at police barriers near Damascus Gate to see if they would be let through.

“This is not security. This is punishment,” said Bader Jweihan, a 53-year-old accountant for a bus company who was trying to get to work but was refused entrance there.

“They want to punish the Arab Jerusalem citizens.”

Musa Abdelmenam Qussam, 73 and with poor eyesight, was being helped by one of his grandsons as he walked with a cane and sought to enter through the police barrier.

The owner of a book wholesale shop in the Old City, he said he usually prays at Al-Aqsa every day.

“This mosque is not only for Muslims. Tourists come,” he said after being denied entrance.

“This city is for all the world. It must be open.”

– ‘Stressed me a little’ –

Jaffa Gate, heavily used by tourists and near the Old City’s Jewish Quarter, was open but with a heavy police presence.

A group of tourists from Poland said they were concerned when they heard about the shooting on Friday but wanted to continue their visit.

They were on their way to do some shopping in the Old City and visit the nearby Garden of Gethsemane, where Christians believe Jesus prayed the night before his crucifixion.

“It stressed me a little,” said Ewa, who did not want to give her last name or age.

At Lions Gate near the site of the attack, police guarded the entrance and restricted access, checking IDs.

The attack and aftermath was one of the most serious incidents in Jerusalem in recent years.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and Netanyahu spoke by phone on Friday as tensions rose in the wake of the incident.

Israeli authorities also detained Jerusalem’s top Muslim cleric, grand mufti Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, as crowds gathered at the gates of the Old City after the attack, his son said.

He was released later Friday after being questioned, according to another of his sons.

With Al-Aqsa closed, crowds gathered at Old City gates and held Friday prayers there.

The mufti had criticised the closure of Al-Aqsa before being detained.

“I have very little information about it, but it doesn’t mean you should close the mosque for prayers,” he had told journalists at the Lions Gate entrance to the Old City.

– Dispute over mosque closure –

The Haram al-Sharif / Temple Mount is central to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with Palestinians fearing Israel may one day seek to assert further control over it.

It lies in east Jerusalem, occupied by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed in a move never recognised by the international community.

It is considered the third-holiest site in Islam and the most sacred for Jews.

Jews are allowed to visit but not pray there to avoid provoking tensions.

A wave of unrest that broke out in October 2015 has claimed the lives of at least 281 Palestinians or Arab Israelis, 44 Israelis, two Americans, two Jordanians, an Eritrean, a Sudanese and a Briton, according to an AFP toll.

Israeli authorities say most of the Palestinians killed were carrying out knife, gun or car-ramming attacks.

Others were shot dead in protests and clashes, while some were killed in Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip.

The violence had greatly subsided in recent months.

by Mike Smith
2 Israeli Police Officers Killed in Attack in Old City of Jerusalem

JERUSALEM — In an extraordinarily brazen assault early Friday, three Arab citizens of Israel armed with guns and knives killed two Israeli police officers guarding an entrance to Jerusalem’s holiest site for Jews and Muslims, an emotional and volatile focal point of the Israeli-Arab conflict.

Security camera footage showed the armed assailants emerging to attack from within the sacred compound in the Old City of Jerusalem that Jews revere as the Temple Mount and Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary. Police officers pursued the assailants, who fled back inside the compound and exchanged fire; all three assailants were killed.

The police identified the slain officers as Advanced Staff Sgt. Maj. Hayil Satawi, 30, who was married with a 3-week-old son; and Advanced Staff Sgt. Maj. Kamil Shnaan, 22, the son of a former parliamentarian. Both officers were members of the country’s small Druze community and came from towns in northern Israel.

Shin Bet, the Israeli internal security service, identified the assailants as residents of Umm el-Fahm, a large Arab town in central Israel, near the border with the West Bank: Muhammad Ahmed Jabarin, 29; Muhammad Hamid Jabarin, 19; and Muhammad Ahmed Mufdal Jabarin, 19. It was not immediately known if the three were related, but their names indicated that they belonged to the same large clan.

Read the rest:

Israel Says No Link to Any Armed Group and Jerusalem Attack

June 17, 2017


Thomas Coex, AFP | Israeli security forces and an ambulance at the scene of an attack outside Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City on June 16, 2017.

JUNE 17, 2017 11:37


“The Palestinian youth will continue to characterize the occupation as its single enemy.”


Damascus gate, Jerusalem

Damascus gate, Jerusalem. (photo credit:MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)No connection has been found between three Palestinians who carried out a fatal attack in Jerusalem on Friday and any organization, Israeli police said on Saturday, after Islamic State had claimed the assault.

Palestinian militants factions have also denied that Islamic State carried out the attack, in which one Israeli police office was killed.

“It was a local cell. At this stage no indication has been found it was directed by a terrorist organization nor has any connection to any organization been found,” police spokeswoman Luba Simri said.

Staff Sergeant Major Hadas Malka, 23, was taken to the emergency care unit at nearby Hadassah University Medical Center in critical condition after sustaining multiple stab wounds during the attack. Hospital officials later pronounced her dead after failing to save her life.

Two Palestinians were shot dead after opening fire at and trying to stab a group of Israeli police officers at one scene, police said. At the other, a Palestinian fatally stabbed a border policewoman before being shot dead by police.

No automatic alt text available.Israeli police said on Friday all the assailants were from Palestinian cities in the West Bank. Two of the attackers, both from Ramallah, were between the ages of 18 and 19 and the third was a 30-year-old from Hebron, police spokeswoman Luba Simri said.

The assaults took place simultaneously in two areas near the Damascus gate of Jerusalem’s walled old city.

Gaza-based terrorist organization Hamas praised the bloodshed but disputed the Islamic State’s claim, stating that the perpetrators were affiliated to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

“The sacrificial operation in Jerusalem that was carried out by three martyrs in Jerusalem confirms that the PA’s attempt to make the relationship with the occupier ‘a normal relationship’ is a failure. The Palestinian youth will continue to characterize the occupation as its single enemy,” said Hamas spokesperson Hazim Qassim in a Facebook post.

Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party called the death of the three perpetrators a “war crime by the Israeli occupation forces” in a statement published by Fatah spokesperson Osama Al-Qawasmi.


Palestinian militant groups deny Islamic State claim of Jerusalem attack

June 17, 2017


Israeli policemen secure the scene of the shooting and stabbing attack outside Damascus gate in Jerusalem’s old city June 16, 2017. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

Palestinian militant factions denied on Saturday a claim by Islamic State that three Palestinian men who carried out a fatal shooting and stabbing attack in Jerusalem were members of the Islamic State militant group.

Islamic State took responsibility for the attack on Friday, in which one Israeli police officer was killed and another wounded, according to the group’s Amaq news agency.

Israeli security officials did not respond immediately to requests for comment on what the SITE intelligence monitoring group described as the first time Islamic State had claimed responsibility for an attack in Israeli-controlled territory, nor on the attackers’ affiliation.

However, a senior official from Hamas, the Islamic group that rules the Gaza Strip, and the People’s Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) said the three attackers, who were all shot dead at the scene, were their own members.

“The three hero martyrs who executed the Jerusalem operation have no connection to Daesh (Islamic State), they are affiliated with the PFLP and Hamas,” Hamas’ Izzat El-Reshiq wrote on Twitter.

The PFLP published a separate statement in which it identified two of the three attackers as members. “The media office of the PFLP armed wing mourns two of its hero comrades, two freed prisoners,” it said.

Israeli police said on Friday all the assailants were from Palestinian cities in the occupied West Bank. Two of the attackers, both from Ramallah, were between the ages of 18 and 19 and the third was a 30-year-old from Hebron, police spokeswoman Luba Simri said.

The assaults took place simultaneously in two areas near the Damascus gate of Jerusalem’s walled old city.

Two Palestinians were shot dead after opening fire at and trying to stab a group of Israeli police officers at one scene, police said. At the other, a Palestinian fatally stabbed a border policewoman before being shot dead by police.

A wave of Palestinian street attacks began in October 2015 but has since slowed. Israel blames the violence on incitement by the Palestinian leadership.

The Palestinian Authority, which exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank, denies that and says assailants have acted out of desperation over Israeli occupation of land sought by Palestinians for a state.

U.S.-brokered peace talks between the sides broke down in 2014. Palestinians want to establish an independent state in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, territories Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East War.

(Reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi and Maayan Lubell; Editing by Paul Tait)



New attacks against Israelis show Palestinians have lost hope, some say — “Knife intifada” bleeding Israelis

September 23, 2016

After a four-month lull, a sudden uptick of violence in Israel and the West Bank has left six Palestinians dead.

By Ruth Eglash, Sufian Taha
The Washington Post

JERUSALEM — A 13-year-old Palestinian girl approaches an Israeli checkpoint and is shot in the legs when she refuses to stop. A 16-year-old Palestinian boy tries to stab Israeli soldiers at a different checkpoint and is immediately shot and killed. A Jordanian holding a kitchen knife in each hand and shouting “Allah Akhbar” (God is great) attempts to stab Israeli police officers. He, too, is fatally shot.

These and other incidents over the past week show a sudden uptick in violence in Israel and the West Bank. Six Palestinians — who Israelis say carried out attacks or attempted to — have been killed, plus the Jordanian. At least six Israelis — civilians and security forces — have been injured. One of the officers is in critical condition in a Jerusalem hospital.

The attacks follow a roughly four-month lull in the violence that started almost a year ago. Throughout the spring and summer, there were only a handful of violent incidents, although some deaths occurred on both sides.

When the violence began last fall, the stabbings, shootings and car-ramming attacks happened almost daily. Since Oct. 1, 2015, 36 Israelis, as well as two American citizens and an Eritrean, and more than 230 Palestinians have been killed.

[A stormy alliance between Obama and Netanyahu reaches its end in New York]

Israelis are calling it the “knife intifada.”

They say it is not organized by a terrorist group, as in the past, but is spurred by incitement in the mainstream and social media, copycat attacks, personal distress, or maybe the desire to be a martyr or die a hero for the Palestinian cause.

Palestinians say the attacks are a natural reaction to a situation of hopelessness fostered by the growth of Israeli settlements on land they want for a future state, a rightward shift in government policies and ineffective Palestinian leadership.

“It is like an accumulation of water in a glass; each drop adds to the water, and eventually it spills over,” said Diana Buttu, a Palestinian analyst who was once involved in peace negotiations. “There is no progress. The Israeli army is present all the time, and there is no hope for change. The Palestinian people are just fed up.”
Speaking at the U.N. General Assembly in New York on Thursday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said there is “no way to defeat terrorism and extremism and achieve security and stability in our region without ending the Israeli occupation.”

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addresses the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, September 22, 2016

An hour later, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded that it was the Palestinian leadership that was filling its young people with hatred and hopelessness by celebrating the actions of those who have killed Israelis and for refusing to reach a peace deal.

“I call on President Abbas: You have a choice to make. You can continue to stoke hatred, as you did today, or you can finally confront hatred and work with me to establish peace between our two peoples,” Netanyahu said. The prime minister invited Abbas to address Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, and said that in return he would like to address the Palestinian Legislative Council.

[Palestinian leader says he is proud to be branded a ‘global terrorist’ by U.S.]

Moshe Maoz, a professor emeritus in Islamic and Middle Eastern studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said the violence is a product of the strife in Israel.

“Netanyahu likens what is happening here to the global terrorism threat, but it is different,” he said. “It is a nationalistic issue and a very important one. It is a situation that is unique to the area.”

Maoz called the lull in violence over the summer “superficial.”

“The Israeli occupation has gone on for 50 years without a break,” he said. “Palestinians say they don’t have anything to lose. They have no hope. It is a deadlock, and they don’t see any future.”

The incident involving the Palestinian girl occurred Wednesday morning. She approached an Israeli military checkpoint and was shot in the legs after refusing to stop. Unarmed, she told investigators that she had “come here to die.”

A day earlier, a Palestinian boy tried to stab soldiers at another checkpoint. The youth, who was killed, was a relative of another young Palestinian, who in July fatally stabbed a 13-year-old Israeli girl as she slept in her bed in the nearby Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba.
The renewed violence began last Friday, when a Jordanian national tried to stab Israeli police officers stationed at Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate. He was shot dead. Later that day, two Palestinians — a man and a woman said to be cousins — rammed their car into a bus stop. After wounding three Israeli civilians, the man was killed and the woman injured.

Also last Friday, a knife-wielding Palestinian was shot by soldiers in Hebron. Another attack took place in the same area Saturday. The assailant also was shot and killed.

On Sunday, a Palestinian tried to enter the Israeli settlement of Efrat. He stabbed and lightly wounded an Israeli police officer before being arrested.

On Monday, a Palestinian man was killed after stabbing two Israeli police officers, seriously wounding one. She remains hospitalized.

Said Ayman Daragmeh, a representative of Hamas on the Palestinian Legislative Council, the stabbing phenomena are “unexplainable, but as long as there is an occupation, these actions will continue.”

“These are attacks of individuals. People have lost hope in their leadership, and as long as there are no political solutions, this will continue,” he said.

Qadura Farres, head of the Palestinian Prisoners Society, also pointed to a certain hopelessness driving the attacks.

“All the policies of the Israeli occupation and the settlement activities have shut down hope for the Palestinians to establish a state and have pushed them toward confrontation with Israel,” he said.

Taha reported from Ramallah.


From one year ago:

Israel locks down Palestinian village after settler stabbed

February 9, 2016


Israeli security forces, pictured on January 14, 2016, are searching for the perpetrator who stabbed a Jewish man from the settlement of Neve Daniel

JERUSALEM (AFP) – The Israeli army locked down a village in the occupied West Bank, the military said, as part of efforts to find the perpetrator who stabbed a Jewish man from a nearby settlement Tuesday.The army spokeswoman said only “humanitarian cases” would be let in and out of Nahalin, southwest of Bethlehem and a short distance from the settlement of Neve Daniel.

A Jewish man in his twenties had appeared at the entrance to the settlement after having been stabbed while out jogging.

He was taken to hospital in moderate condition, with stab wounds in the upper body, medics said.

The army said forces were searching the area, but could not immediately determine the nature of the attack.

The incident bore the hallmarks of Palestinian attacks over the past four months targeting Israeli security and civilians in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Israel, primarily stabbings but also shootings and car-rammings.

The wave of violence that erupted in October has claimed the lives of 165 Palestinians, 26 Israelis, a US national, an Eritrean and a Sudanese.

Most of the Palestinians were killed carrying out attacks, while others died during clashes and demonstrations.

Neve Daniel is part of the Etzion bloc of settlements, a focal point of the unrest.

Earlier Tuesday, a 13-year-old Palestinian girl was arrested at the entrance to the bloc’s Karmei Tzur settlement, after a knife was found on her, the army said.

And at the Damascus Gate entrance to Jerusalem’s Old City, a 16-year-old Palestinian girl was arrested after attempting to stab police officers and then fleeing. Nobody was injured.

Fresh Jerusalem stabbings as Israel weighs next moves

November 29, 2015

Jerusalem (AFP) – Stabbings at an entrance to Jerusalem’s Old City and near a bus stop Sunday left two people wounded and an attacker killed, while Israel closed a third Palestinian radio station accused of incitement.

The attacks and closure of the station came with Israeli security forces struggling to halt two months of Palestinian knife, gun and car-ramming assaults.

Several weeks ago, an Israeli security crackdown in Jerusalem, including roadblocks in Palestinian neighbourhoods, was followed by a lull in attacks in the city, but violence has returned.

Early on Sunday, a 38-year-old Palestinian stabbed and lightly wounded an Israeli border police officer at Damascus Gate, a main entrance point for Palestinians to east Jerusalem’s Old City and the site of several previous attacks.

The attacker was identified as Bassem Salah from the northern West Bank city of Nablus.

Later in the morning, a foreign woman of around 30 was lightly wounded in a stabbing near a bus station in west Jerusalem and the attacker fled.

Police said a Palestinian suspect was later arrested near the scene.

Further details on the victim were not immediately provided.

Violence since October 1 has left 100 dead on the Palestinian side, including an Arab Israeli, as well as 17 Israelis, an American and an Eritrean.

Many of the Palestinians killed have been alleged attackers, while others have been shot dead by Israeli security forces during clashes.

Israeli troops on Sunday shot and wounded a Palestinian during what the army called a “violent riot” in the occupied West Bank.

A military spokeswoman told AFP that Palestinians hurled rocks and petrol bombs and fired slingshots at Israeli forces in Al-Bireh, between the town of Ramallah and the Jewish settlement of Beit El.

“The force identified a rioter with a lit fire bomb in hand,” she said in English. “The force fired at the rioter… and a hit was confirmed.”

The extent of the man’s injuries was not immediately known.

A visit last week by US Secretary of State John Kerry failed to produce any breakthrough, and debate has intensified within Israel on whether to take conciliatory steps to ease tensions or to respond more forcefully.

Palestinian leaders blame Israel for the wave of violence, saying its continued occupation and settlement building along with a lack of progress in peace efforts have led to hopelessness among young people.

Many of the attackers have been young Palestinians, including teenagers, who appear to have acted on their own.

– Radio incitement? –

In the flashpoint southern West Bank city of Hebron, the army shut down Dream radio station, the third private broadcaster it has closed there, accusing it of stoking the violence.

An Israeli minister last week raised the threat of shutting down Palestinian public broadcasters as well, charging they were fanning the flames.

Hebron, considered a West Bank stronghold of Islamist movement Hamas, has been the focus of much of the latest violence.

Talab Jaabari, owner of the station closed on Sunday, said soldiers arrived and seized “all the material and caused signficant damage to the station”.

He said he received a written order to close for six months and accusing his station of “broadcasting programmes with the aim of promoting and encouraging terrorism against civilians and Israeli security forces”.

Al-Khalil and Al-Hurriya radio stations in Hebron were also closed earlier this month on similar grounds.

Such closures have been among a raft of security measures taken by Israel in bid to halt the attacks.

Last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced tighter controls on Palestinian vehicles and an increase in the number of so-called “bypass roads” which create separate routes for Palestinians and Jewish settlers.

He said work permits would be withdrawn from the families of alleged attackers and there would be “no limits” on the powers of Israeli soldiers in the West Bank, where some 400,000 Jewish settlers live among 2.8 million Palestinians.

Israel has also controversially demolished the homes of alleged attackers in a bid to deter further violence.

In addition, Netanyahu’s government has banned the radical wing of Israel’s main Islamist organisation, accusing it of instigating violence.