The five terrorists who carried out four of the attacks in Jerusalem and Ra’anana Tuesday morning are all residents of East Jerusalem, and at least three of them live in the Jabal Mukaber neighborhood.
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Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan held consultations Tuesday to discuss measures that may be taken in light of the terror incidents perpetrated by the East Jerusalem residents. Under consideration are imposition of a full curfew on neighborhoods in the eastern part of the capital, and the possibility of easing the requirements for receiving a license to carry a weapon.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat had earlier called for a closure of the Arab neighborhoods East Jerusalem, explaining that he was aware of the high price of such a move. But, he insisted, “the lives of the residents of Jerusalem are more important than anything else.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was due to hold an emergency session of the security cabinet Tuesday afternoon in the wake of the attacks around the country.
The incident on Jerusalem's Malchei Yisrael Street in which people were run over by a vehicle and then stabbed was carried out by Ala’a Abu Jamal, a resident of Jabal Mukaber who works for the Bezeq phone company. A funeral was being held in the afternoon for victim Yeshayahu Kirshavski, 60, who succumbed to his injuries.
Abu Jamal is a relative of Ghassan and Uday Abu Jamal, who carried out the murders of four worshippers and a Druze police officer (who arrived in response) at a synagogue in the Har Nof neighborhood of the capital in November 2014, said Palestinian sources.
Just last week, Israeli security forces demolished the home of Ghassan Abu Jamal in Jabal Mukaber, abutting the Jewish neighborhood of Armon Hanatziv; they also sealed the home of Uday Abu Jamal. Almost a year ago, the High Court of Justice rejected petitions from the families against the demolition, but the government only followed through now.
The terror attack on the bus in Armon Hanatziv on Tuesday was carried out by two men from Jabal Mukaber. At about 10 A.M. the two boarded an articulated bus on the 78 route at the station near the entrance to the neighborhood. Armed with a pistol and a knife, the two attacked passengers until the police arrived and subdued them.
At least two passengers were killed, another was critically wounded and two others were said to be in serious condition. One of the terrorists was killed by the police during the incident, and the other was seriously wounded and evacuated to a local hospital for medical treatment.
Said one eyewitness: “One of the terrorists tried to take control of the bus and did not let passengers get off. I blocked the bus with my car and kept it from moving until the police and security guards arrived.”
The two stabbing attacks this morning in Ra’anana were also carried out by Palestinians from East Jerusalem.
Around 9 A.M., a 22-year-old Palestinian stabbed a passerby on Ahuza Street, the main street in the city, injuring him slightly. Passersby subdued the attacker; a few of them hit and wounded him seriously, before the police arrived and evacuated him to the hospital.
An hour and a half later, another stabbing incident occurred in Ra’anana, this time near Beit Loewenstein Rehabilitation Center at the corner of Ahuza Street and Jerusalem Boulevard. The terrorist, 28, who works for the city, is a resident of East Jerusalem. He stabbed four people, one of whom was in serious condition and the others only slightly wounded.