In what was one of the most violent days in Jerusalem since the wave of terror began a month ago, four separate knife attacks took place in the capital on Monday, leaving five Israelis wounded, among them a 13-year-old boy stabbed while riding his bicycle. The perpetrators of all the attacks were Palestinian teenagers, among them the assailant of the 13-year-old cyclist who was the same age as his victim.
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The most serious attack occurred Monday afternoon in Jerusalem’s Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood. Two Palestinians, aged 13 and 17, first stabbed a man on 16th Street. They then proceeded to Moshe Dayan Boulevard, where they stabbed and critically wounded the 13-year-old who was riding his bike.
Passersby began chasing the terrorists, and as the Palestinians fled, one was hit by a passing car and seriously injured. The other continued to flee until he ran into a contingent of Border Police, who ordered him to drop his knife. When he refused to do so and instead continued running toward them, they shot him to death.
Palestinian sources said the two terrorists were relatives: Ahmed Mansara, 13, from the Shoafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem, and Mohammed Mansara, 17, from the West Bank village of Hizma, which is just outside Jerusalem and very near Pisgat Ze’ev. Neither has any previous record of involvement in terror.
Paramedic Itzik Asraf said that when he was called to the scene of the stabbing, he found the 13-year-old victim unconscious due to a wound in his upper body. After being given first aid, the boy was rushed to Jerusalem’s Hadassah University Hospital on Mount Scopus.
“Then they told us there was a second wounded man on a nearby street,” Asraf recalled. That victim had also suffered stab wounds in his upper body, and was evacuated to the hospital in serious condition.
Earlier on Monday, a 16-year-old girl from East Jerusalem’s Beit Hanina neighborhood lightly wounded a 21-year-old border policeman when she stabbed him near the entrance to national police headquarters on Jerusalem’s Bar-Lev Road. The policeman was evacuated to Hadassah University Hospital with a stab wound in his upper body.
According to a police statement, the girl had aroused the policeman’s suspicions, so he ordered her to halt. When she ignored him, he approached her, at which point she suddenly turned around with a knife in her hand and stabbed him.
Despite being wounded, the policeman managed to draw his gun and shoot the terrorist. She was taken to the hospital in moderate condition.
Police also arrested a man whom they suspected of involvement in the attack.
Moshe Teitelbaum, CEO of the United Hatzalah ambulance service, came to the scene of the attack with his crew to treat the victims. He said that while they were giving the policeman first aid, he heard shots, and the Hatzalah volunteers were ordered to leave the scene for their own safety.
The policeman’s wounds were relatively minor, and he was fully conscious when he was taken to the hospital, Teitelbaum added.
This is the second time in a week that a stabbing attack has occurred on Bar-Lev Road. Last week, Subhi Ibrahim Mohammed Abu Khalifa, 19, stabbed a 25-year-old yeshiva student there and seriously wounded him. He also lightly wounded another person before being caught.
The third attack occurred Monday evening aboard a bus near the Chords Bridge, at the western entrance to Jerusalem. According to initial police reports, the terrorist stabbed a soldier aboard the bus and then tried to grab his gun, while a policeman and two civilians tried to subdue the terrorist.
The driver halted the bus, and other policemen boarded and joined the effort to subdue the terrorist. But during the struggle, a gun belonging to one of the policemen fell to the floor, and the terrorist seized it. At that point, another police officer shot the terrorist to death.
Following this attack, police shut down the main Tel Aviv-Jerusalem highway near the entrance to capital.
Monday morning, border policemen thwarted another Jerusalem stabbing attack at the Old City’s Lions Gate. The terrorist, Mustafa al-Khatib, 19, of East Jerusalem, tried to stab one of the policemen stationed there, but was shot and killed by another policeman.
According to the police, Al-Khatib was walking toward a nearby Muslim cemetery with his hand in his pocket. This made the border policemen stationed at Lion’s Gate suspicious, and they ordered him to stop for inspection. At that point, he tried to stab one of the policemen, but the policeman was wearing a flak jacket and wasn’t hurt. Another policeman then shot Al-Khatib and killed him.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat demanded that the government take harsher steps against “the inciters who encourage terror” and urged the public to remain alert.
“Unfortunately, there’s no bounds to the cruelty of these base murderers, who choose to attack children and innocent civilians who are coming home from school and encounter a satanic evil that shocks us all,” he said. “This cruel, pitiless terror is the result of false, unbridled incitement.”
Jerusalem police chief Moshe Edri lauded the victim of the Bar-Lev Road attack. “The policeman acted properly and as expected of him and deserves esteem for this,” he said. “Once again, alertness and operational preparedness on the part of policemen has proved itself on the ground and prevented an attack on innocent people. We are continuing our beefed-up deployment in Jerusalem and will act resolutely and quickly toward any terrorist who tries to endanger lives.”