NEWS

Two Terror Attacks in 24 Hours as Tensions Simmer

September 14, 2021

by: Ilse Strauss

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Scene of the terror attack at the central bus station in Jerusalem on Monday

Tuesday, 14 September 2021 | Simmering tensions in Israel yesterday boiled over with two Palestinian terror attacks in less than 12 hours. This brings the terror tally over the past four days to three, with another attempted attack in the Old City of Jerusalem foiled on Friday afternoon.

The first attack came yesterday morning at the Gush Etzion Junction in the Judean hills, a hotspot for past terror attacks. According to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), a 27-year-old Palestinian terrorist armed with a screwdriver approached a soldier standing guard at the junction and attempted to stab him. The soldier managed to fight off the terrorist, while a second soldier neutralized the threat by shooting the attacker in the hand.

The second attack came a few hours later in the heart of downtown Jerusalem on bustling Jaffa Street just outside the central bus station. A 17-year-old Palestinian terrorist armed with a knife attacked two young Israeli men, stabbing and moderately wounding them. A policewoman put a stop to the stabbing spree by shooting and critically injuring the terrorist.

Both the terrorist and his victims were evacuated to the same hospital, where they are being treated for their injuries. The two victims suffered stab wounds to their upper bodies and are both in stable condition.

Rabbi Alon Navon, the father of one of the victims, expressed his gratitude to “the Creator of the World” for preventing a bloodbath. “Thank God, it ended at a relatively low level,” he said.

The three attacks over the past four days might have come to naught, but Israel fears that they are merely the tip of the iceberg.

“There is no doubt that an escalation is occurring,” Cmdr. Doron Turgeman, the Jerusalem police chief warned in the aftermath of yesterday’s attacks.

Public Security Minister Omer Barlev took a more conservative tone. “I don’t know if we are on the verge of an escalation,” he told the Kan public broadcaster. “But we are definitely in a very sensitive period…Any incident could set off the entire area, so we are preparing for an escalation in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and Gaza.”

The sensitive period Barlev referred to pertains to simmering tensions over the past week after six Palestinian prisoners escaped last Monday. Israeli police managed to capture four of the six fugitives over the weekend, while two remain at large. According to officials, the two remaining prisoners are likely somewhere in the Palestinian areas of Judea and Samaria, receiving shelter and assistance from residents.

Many Palestinians regard the fugitives as “heroes,” publicly celebrating their “valor” and following their quest to evade capture with hearty enthusiasm. The news of four of the terrorists’ apprehension over the weekend turned the public celebration into public outrage, sparking a number of violent protests, a volley of rockets over the weekend and now the three attempted terror attacks.

Hamas, the terror group ruling the Gaza Strip, is capitalizing on these sentiments, spurring its people on to further acts of violence. Both Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the second largest terror group in the Strip, hailed yesterday’s “heroic” stabbing, explaining that it came “within the framework of the freedom uprising launched by our Palestinian people in solidarity with the heroic prisoners.”

Vowing to escalate tensions, Hamas spokesman Abdelatif al-Qanou said, “Sustaining the clash with the Zionist occupation and escalating the pace of operations by various means is the best option to confront the Zionist occupation.”

Israel is taking the threat seriously, and with the Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) holiday coming up, the powers-that-be are not taking any chances. According to Channel 13, security forces are on high alert and some 2,000 police officers will be stationed across Jerusalem to maintain order.

Posted on September 14, 2021

Source: (Bridges for Peace, September 14, 2021)

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Stefan Edward Alexander Mihaescu/facebook.com

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