[UPDATED] Six terror attack in two days have Israeli security authorities concerned that nearly one year after it began, this recent wave of terror is far from over.
Following the Muslim afternoon prayers on Friday, a Palestinian man ran at an IDF Border Policeman by the Damascus Gate of Jerusalem’s Old City, yelling “Allahu Akhbar” (‘God is great’ in Arabic) while wielding a knife in each hand. The IDF troops opened fire, killing the attacker. The terrorist was found to have a third knife in his possession.
The Israel Police Spokesperson’s Unit said that “the terrorist was a Jordanian resident, who was entering the Old City of Jerusalem via Damascus Gate. The Israel Border Police identified the suspect, and carried out the proper protocols. The terrorist quickly approached the officers with his hand raised and clutching a knife. The officers acted professionally, and identified him as an attacker, whereby they neutralized him.”
On Friday afternoon, a bus driver was lightly wounded when rocks and glass bottles full of paint were thrown at his vehicle on the highway between Jerusalem and the Ma’ale Adumim settlement. The police are still searching for the assailants.
Also on Friday afternoon, a Palestinian man and a Palestinian woman attempted to carry out a ramming attack with a pickup truck at the Elias Junction, outside the entrance to Kiryat Arba, adjacent to Hebron. The truck was being aimed at a bus-stop when IDF troops at the scene identified the attack and opened fire. The male terrorist was killed. The woman was injured and is being treated for her injuries. No Israelis were injured but three teens who were in the path of the oncoming truck were treated for shock.
Maan News Agency, a Palestinian news service, identified the male assailants as Firas Khdour from Bani Naim near Hebron. The female was his fiancee Raghd Abdullah Khdour, whose sister was killed in an attempted vehicular attack at the same intersection a few months ago.
A soldier was lightly wounded on Friday in a stabbing attack at the Gilbert Checkpoint in Hebron. The terrorist was shot and killed by security forces.
On Saturday morning, a Palestinian man stabbed an IDF soldier the Nahal Brigade’s 50th Battalion near the Tel Rumeida neighborhood in Hebron. The Palestinian was shot and killed by the IDF troops at the scene.
In response to the weekend attacks, an additional battalion was deployed Saturday night in the Hebron area.
In a sixth incident, an IDF soldier was stabbed by a terrorist early Sunday morning in the city of Efrat. At around 2:00am, local security detail detected a breach in the city’s security fence near the Zayit neighborhood. Army and security forces searched the entire neighborhood for the infiltrator.
A few hours into the search, the terrorist jumped out from behind some bushes and stabbed an IDF soldier near the armpit, injuring him moderately. The terrorist was shot immediately. Both the victim, a 30-year-old officer, and the attacker, identified as Baha a-Din Muhammad Khalil, were transferred to the Hadasseh Ein Kerem hospital in Jerusalem for treatment.
Over the past year, 35 Israelis and four foreigners have been killed in attacks by Palestinians. Over 200 Palestinians have been killed. The IDF and security establishment say that most were killed while carrying out attacks.
An anonymous IDF official told the Times of Israel, “The motivation and inspiration to carry out attacks against Israelis remains strong. That’s why the IDF is strengthening its operational and intelligence efforts to stabilize the situation on the ground and deter these acts of terror.”