2 Israelis Killed, 1 Wounded in Jerusalem Stabbing Attack

One victim dies of knife wounds, second man accidentally shot by police; two assailants shot dead.

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The scene of a stabbing attack in Jerusalem, December 23, 2015.
The scene of a stabbing attack in Jerusalem, December 23, 2015.Credit: United Hatzolah emergency responders

Two Israelis died on Wednesday in the aftermath of a stabbing attack in Jerusalem's Old City.

One died after being shot by police who were trying to take down the two Palestinian assailants. He was identified as Ofer Ben-Ari, 46, a married father of two from Jerusalem.

The scene of a stabbing attack in Jerusalem, December 23, 2015.Credit: Emil Salman

The second man, identified as Rabbi Reuven Biermacher, was seriously injured in the stabbing near the Jaffa Gate and later died of his wounds. he was a resident of Kiryat Yaarim. Biermacher, 45, is survived by his wife and seven children.

Another person was seriously wounded in the stabbing and was evacuated for medical treatment. Shaarei Zedek Medical Center announced Wednesday evening that the condition of the third victim had stabilized, and that his life was no longer in danger.

The stabbing attack was carried out by two assailants, who were shot by Border Police officers. They were identified as Issa Asaf and Anan Abu Habaseh, both men in their early 20s from the Qalandiyah refugee camp.

One of the attackers was killed on the spot and the second assailant died later of his wounds. A passerby beat one of the terrorists with a metal pipe after he was shot and was lying on the ground, according to a video that captured the incident.

According to the police, the two Palestinians were walking toward Jaffa Gate when they saw Jews and started stabbing them with knives. Two female Border Police officers stationed there saw civilians running toward the gate and ran toward the spot from where they were fleeing. The spotted the attackers stabbing a man, shot toward them and hit them, the police announced.

"The fighters acted bravely and very professionally," commented the Jerusalem District Command. "They neutralized the terrorists and prevented a much bigger attack."

Rabbi Biermacher was murdered while making his way home from work.

Rabbi Reuven Biermacher, killed in a stabbing attack at Jerusalem's Jaffa Gate, Dec. 23, 2015.Credit: Social media

"It is with great sorrow that I must inform you of the passing of Rav Reuven Biermacher, beloved Rebbe in the Aish HaTorah Spanish program," Rabbi Steven Burg, director general of the yeshiva, posted on Facebook on Wednesday. "He spent the morning teaching Torah and was murdered on his way out of the Old City."

Abu Habaseh was jailed in 2010 after approaching the Qalandiyah checkpoint with a knife with the intention of being arrested. He said in 2010 that he arrived at the checkpoint after being beaten repeatedly by his father and that he was sick of this reality.

Asaf was jailed this year for involvement in popular terror.

On Sunday, a stabbing attack was thwarted in Hebron. A Palestinian woman who tried to attack Israeli soldiers was shot with a rubber bullet. No other casualties were reported.

Three people were wounded, one seriously, in a stabbing attack in the central city of Ra’anana Saturday afternoon. A 20-year-old Palestinian man from the West Bank village of Tamun, near Jenin, was arrested as a suspect, after a brief chase.

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