Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Violence Increasing In Jerusalem: Palestinians, Arab Israelis Mark 'Day Of Rage', Attacks Have Been 'Planned'

Stores shuttered as Palestinians, Arab Israelis mark 'Day of Rage'

Palestinian groups and Arab Israelis in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip and northern Israel have declared Tuesday a “Day of Rage,” urging mass demonstrations against the Israeli government and its policies, in the wake of a series of daily terrorist attacks carried out against Israeli civilians across the region.

At the same time, leading Arab Israeli politicians called on municipalities and local authorities to participate in a general strike on Tuesday to protest changes it accuses Israel of planning to make to the status quo on the Temple Mount, home to the al-Aqsa Mosque — considered to be one of Islam’s holiest sites and the holiest site in Judaism.

The Israeli government has repeatedly denied that it intends to make any such changes. Jews are currently allowed to visit the Temple Mount but not to pray there.

All businesses and educational institutions in Arab communities across Israel shut down Tuesday, with lawmakers from the Joint (Arab) List set to lead a large demonstration in the northern Israel town of Sakhnin. Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are planning to hold a parallel strike on the same day.

The decision to strike came at a meeting of the High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel umbrella organization on Sunday. The meeting, held in the Arab town of Kafr Qara in northern Israel, explored various forms of protest before calling the strike. The strike was to be launched over what the group called “the efforts by the Netanyahu government to separate Muslims from al-Aqsa Mosque.”

Not all Arab Israelis have expressed enthusiasm for the strike; Nazareth Mayor Ali Salem has criticized the decision, Channel 2 reported, and called on the Joint List Knesset members to instead take action to calm the recent violence.
“I blame the leaders; they are destroying our future, they are destroying coexistence,” Salem told Army Radio on Sunday.
The representative, Hanni Asadi, told Ynet that a grassroots Israeli countermeasure aimed at identifying which businesses are owned by Arabs and boycotting them after the strike ends was the effort of “inciters trying to destroy Jewish Arab relations.”
“Extremists are trying to ruin the good atmosphere. In this racist decision of theirs, they show how stupid they are. They will not deter us because we answer to no one but God. We all hope this wave will pass and tourism and security will return to what they were,” he said.

Two separate attacks hit Jerusalem in a matter of minutes Tuesday morning, when two men attempted to stab passengers on a bus before being shot and a car rammed into a group of people in the center of the capital.

One person was killed and another wounded as a driver rammed into a crowd on Malchei Israel Street in the Makor Baruch neighborhood in the center of the city. The attacker reportedly stepped out of the crashed vehicle and attempted to stab the wounded. He was subdued by police, but was not killed.

In a separate incident minutes earlier, two male passengers were killed — a 60-year-old who died at the scene, and a 45-year-old who died in the hospital — and three others suffered gunshot wounds in a combined shooting and stabbing attack on Egged bus 78 in the neighborhood of Armon Hanatziv in southern Jerusalem.

Two assailants were involved in the Armon Hanatziv attack, and were shot and subdued by police. One terrorist was said to have been killed, and the other was caught by police.
Some 15 people were said to have been injured in the attack.
In Ra’anana, a man stabbed four people with a knife on Jerusalem Boulevard. One was in serious condition with stab wounds to the upper body. The three other victims were lightly injured.
The attacker was arrested.
The attacks follows just hours after another stabbing attack in Raanana, in which a man was lightly injured when stabbed while standing at a bus stop on the central Ahuza thoroughfare in the city.

Two terror attacks took place at two separate locations in Jerusalem on Tuesday morning, resulting in the deaths of three Israelis and causing injuries to several others.

In the first attack, two Jewish men were stabbed to death, and three others seriously wounded in gun and knife attack on an Egged bus in the capital’s Armon Hanatziv neighborhood, located next to the flashpoint Arab neighborhood Jabel Mukaber.

Shortly after the attack, dozens of police cordoned off the scene, as Magen David Adom paramedics and ZAKA AMT’s rushed the wounded to the hospital and cleaned blood from the bus, whose shattered windows had several bullet holes.

Trails of blood could be seen inside and outside the vehicle, as hundreds of anxious residents gathered to watch the chaotic scene.

According to Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, shortly after 10 a.m., the assailants stopped the number 78 bus at the intersection of Oley HaGardom and Moshe Barazim, on the border of Jabel Mukaber.

“One of the terrorists shot at passengers from the outside while his accomplice entered the bus and stabbed five passengers, killing one,” said Rosenfeld several meters from the badly damaged vehicle.  

“Our police units that arrived at the scene shot and killed one of the terrorists. The second terrorist was apprehended, and the four victims were taken to the hospital, where another victim later died.”   

“I noticed that something was wrong because the bus was standing in the middle of the crosswalk at the junction, and I heard someone shouting something in Arabic,” he said.

“I drove my car to the bus and saw two terrorists, one stabbing people and the other sitting in the driver’s seat, and assumed the one in the driver’s seat was trying to abduct the passengers, so I blocked it with my car.”

Cohen said the terrorist in the driver’s seat then pulled out his gun and pointed it at him.

“When he aimed the gun at me I decided to move away, and that’s when the police arrived,” he said.

In a separate attack on Malkei Israel Street In the haredi neighborhood of Geula in the capital, a Palestinian terrorist drove his vehicle into a group of several people waiting at a bus stop. He then exited his car with a meat cleaver and began attacking the wounded and others with the implement.

Rabbi Yeshayahu Krishevsky, 60, was killed, apparently both from the vehicular attack and the axe wounds while two other people were seriously injured.

Shimi Grossman, a paramedic from the Zaka voluntary emergency response service and a resident of Geula, was one of the first on the scene.

He saw the vehicle stuck inside the bus stop that the assailant had struck and was told by eye-witnesses that the man had got out of his car with the axe.

The terrorist was shot and critically injured by police officers who arrived swiftly at the scene.

The terrorist was a resident of east Jerusalem and an employee of Bezeq phone company, Israel's main telephone service provider. 

In a statement to the public, Bezeq phone company expressed its shock upon hearing of the terrorist attack.

"There were no early signs and there was no observed change in the employees behavior that could have indicated his involvement in criminal and terrorist activities," they said. 

The Jerusalem attacks came shortly after a stabbing attack in the central Israeli city of Ra'anana. In that attack, a man was lightly wounded and the terrorist was apprehended by passersby. A second attack occurred in Ra'anana some 90 minutes later, in which four people were wounded.

A security source said that the two terrorist attacks that killed three people and wounded several others in Jerusalem on Tuesday morning seem to be "a planned and timed assault."

"There is no doubt that the source of incitement of the sequence of terrorist attacks this morning is east Jerusalem," the source added.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has convened an emergency meeting of the security meeting, scheduled to take place at 3:00 p.m, in light of the terrorist attacks in Jerusalem and the central city of Ra'anana.

Two separate terrorist attacks were waged in the capital Tuesday morning, in which three people were killed and several wounded. At the same time, five people were wounded in two terrorist attacks that were carried out in Ra'anana.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan is holding consultations to determine a number of immediate steps to deal with the terror wave, including a closure on east Jerusalem neighborhoods - from where many of the attackers originate - and also making it easier for civilians to receive gun permits, according to the Public Security Ministry.

Following Tuesday morning's attacks, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said that the  Palestinian Authority has turned into an “incubator for fanatic terrorism” and Israel should consider halting its monthly financial transfers to it.

“The blood of Israeli citizens is on the hands of [PA President] Mahmoud Abbas and his colleagues who are inciting children to commit murder,” she said. Hotovely cited Abbas' spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh as “praising and glorifying at 13-year-old Palestinian who set out with a butcher knife to murder Israeli children in a candy shop.”

The deputy foreign minister was referring to Monday's attack in Jerusalem's Pisgat Ze'ev neighborhood. 

The security cabinet will convene at 3 p.m. at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem to discuss new security measures after a series of terror attacks left three people dead and several more injured Tuesday morning in a major escalation of ongoing violence.

Police officials will present an operational plan for curbing the sharp spike in terror attacks experienced by the capital in recent days, which may include a closure on some Arab East Jerusalem neighborhoods.

Speaking shortly after a pair of terrorists opened fire and hacked at passengers on a bus, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat demanded a complete closure on the West Bank and East Jerusalem Arab neighborhoods, saying harsher measures were needed to battle a terror wave that has rocked the capital over the last month.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan was also holding meetings Tuesday with security officials that will discuss closing off East Jerusalem neighborhoods and making it easier for Israeli citizens to obtain gun licenses.

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said after the attacks that the Palestinian Authority had lost its right to exist, adding that PA President Mahmoud Abbas bears responsibility for the ongoing terror.
She also called on the Israeli government to stop transferring money to the PA.
“The blood of Israeli citizens is on Abu Mazen’s hands, and of those of his men who incite children to go out and murder,” she said, using Abbas’ nom de guerre and referring to spokesperson Nabil Abu Roudeineh, who reportedly praised the 13-year-old Palestinian who stabbed an Israeli teenager yesterday on his bike.

“The Palestinian Authority has lost the right to exist. Instead of preventing violence, it is a hothouse for radical Islam that hurts Israelis on a daily basis,” she said.
Science Minister Ofir Akunis lambasted the international community for failing to condemn the current wave of terror.
Addressing an international space conference in Jerusalem, Akunis said that Israeli citizens are currently suffering “an attack unparalleled in violence and barbarism,” calling on participants to speak out against these acts.

“There is no excuse in the world to justify the murder of innocent children. The silence of the international community is regrettable and worrying. The fact there no one condemns the Palestinians spreading lies that increase murderous terror is a warning signal to the entire free world,” the minister said.

The IDF's Artillery Corps struck two Assad regime military positions after a number of Syrian shells exploded in the northern Golan Heights on Tuesday. 

"The IDF sees the Syrian military as being responsible for what occurs in its territory and will not tolerate any attempt to harm the sovereignty of the state of Israel," the IDF said.

On September 28,  stray cross-border fire originating from Assad regime army positions resulted in Israeli retaliatory fire.

The Syrian projectile exploded in an unpopulated area of the northern Golan Heights, causing no injuries or damages. No warning sirens went off as the projectile's trajectory did not threaten built up areas. It was the second incident of stray Syrian cross-border
fire in two days.

Soon afterwards, the IDF struck two Assad regime artillery posts. IDF artillery units carried out the attack, the army added.

Citing the Lebanon-based Al Mayadeen television station, Israel Radio reported at the time that a Syrian deputy battalion commander suffered moderate wounds from the Israeli fire. 

The report said Israel fired four missiles at an artillery battalion that belongs to Division 90 the regime's army in Quneitra.

Commenting on those events in September, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said Syrian artillery gun positions taking part in civil war battles were behind the stray fire into Israel on Sunday and Saturday.

The Times of Israel is liveblogging Tuesday’s events as they unfold:

Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby calls on the international community to provide “protection” to the Palestinians in their struggle with Israel.
Elaraby claims Israel is engaging in “terrorism” against the Palestinians, during an emergency meeting of the Arab League in Egypt, the Ynet news site reports.

Turkey “strongly condemns” Israel for its “provocative and arbitrary practices” and accuses it of wielding “disproportionate force” against Palestinians, according to Turkey’s Hurriyet newspaper.
“We strongly condemn Israeli security forces’ use of disproportionate force in these incidents which have developed as a result of Israel’s insistence on practices against status quo,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry reportedly says in a statement, referring to attacks against Israelis that have been linked to Palestinian allegations that Israel is trying to change the arrangements at Jerusalem’s volatile Temple Mount compound.
“The only way to prevent escalation of the tension is Israel abiding by rules of international law in Palestinian territories which it keeps under occupation and, within this framework, it giving an immediate end to provocative and arbitrary practices which target status and holiness of the al-Haram al-Sharif,” the ministry added.

No comments: