An Israeli officer was killed in a stabbing attack by a 13-year-old Palestinian in Jerusalem on Monday, the second terror attack in the space of two hours in the capital, and the fifth in two weeks.
The 20-year-old police officer was attacked after boarding a bus to for a routine inspection near the Arab neighborhood of Shuafat in eastern Jerusalem. The teenaged terrorist pulled out a knife and stabbed him. A civilian guard who was accompanying the officer opened fire but accidentally shot the officer in the thigh.
He was pronounced dead from his stab wounds when he arrived at a Hadassah Mount Scopus hospital a short while later.
The 13-year-old, identified as Muhammad Bassel Fathi Zalbani, was detained by authorities.
Two hours prior, a 14-year-old Palestinian resident of eastern Jerusalem stabbed a 17-year-old Israel near the Old City of Jerusalem. The victim was evacuated to the hospital in light-to-moderate condition.
The Hamas terror group praised the terrorists’ “heroic” operation, saying that Palestinian youth will combat Israel’s “aggression and fascism with courage and violence.”
Two weeks ago, a day after a massacre outside a Jerusalem synagogue left seven Israelis dead, another 13-year-old terrorist opened fire on a group of Israelis near the Western Wall, severely wounding two people, a father and son.
The younger victim, an off-duty soldier, managed to shoot the terrorist, as did another member of the group, wounding him. The younger victim is still in hospital in critical condition.
Five days ago, another Palestinian resident from eastern Jerusalem plowed his car into a group of people waiting at a bus stop near Jerusalem’s Ramot neighborhood, killing eight-year-old Asher Menachem Fali, his six-year-old brother Yaakov Yisrael, and newlywed Shlomo Lederman.
Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who also serves as a minister over Jewish communities West Bank, said that young Palestinians were incited to carry out violent attacks against Jews on social media, primarily on TikTok.
According to Hamas, Monday’s attacks were in response to the Netanyahu government’s decision a day earlier to legalize nine Jewish communities in the West Bank, some of which are decades-old.
The move by the Security Cabinet to legalize the settlements came as a series of measures in response to the spate of deadly terrorist attacks. The measures also included a proposal for expediting the process for Israeli civilians to receive a license to carry a firearm.
However, the legalization process is likely to take years and the High Court of Justice may decide to overturn the decision, as it has many similar bills. The leftwing judiciary’s power over such matters is at the crux of the judicial reform plans currently embroiling the country in protests.
President Joe Biden on Saturday said a “consensus” was needed before enacting any reforms, and in doing so became the first American president to issue a comment on an internal Israeli debate.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday said the Biden administration was “deeply troubled” by Israel’s recent move to legalize the 9 Jewish communities, saying it would “exacerbate tensions and undermine the prospects for a negotiated two-state solution.”
“Anything that takes us away from the vision of two states for two peoples is detrimental to Israel’s long-term security, its identity as a Jewish and democratic state, and to our vision of equal measures of security, freedom, prosperity, and dignity for Israelis and Palestinians alike,” he declared.
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