Terrorist attacks shake central Jerusalem despite tighter security

Two weeks of bloodshed continue Wednesday with two attacks by Palestinians on Israelis.

October 15, 2015 01:12
3 minute read.

Stabbing attack at Jerusalem Central Bus Station

Stabbing attack at Jerusalem Central Bus Station

Despite a security cabinet decision to set up checkpoints outside volatile Arab neighborhoods in the capital, an attempted attack at Damascus Gate left a terrorist dead on Wednesday, while an Arab man stabbed an Israeli woman at Jerusalem’s Central Bus Station.

The first attack on Wednesday took place at approximately 4:30 p.m., when Border Police stationed near the entrance to the Damascus Gate, on the northern side of the Old City, identified a suspicious Arab man wearing combat fatigues. When officers asked to search the man for a weapon, he pulled a knife from his pocket and charged the officers, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.

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“Police reacted immediately and fired at him,” Rosenfeld said, adding that the man died minutes later. None of the officers were wounded, he said.

The man was later identified as Basal Sider, 19, of Hebron.

He had no prior known security offenses.

Later, just across Jaffa Road from the central bus station around 6:30 p.m. a terrorist stabbed and moderately-to-seriously wounded a woman in her 70s, before being shot and killed.

Magen David Adom paramedics treated the victim and took her to the capital’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center.

According to police, the terrorist stabbed the woman while she was attempting to board the No. 15 Egged bus.

The driver made sure the woman boarded the bus after she was stabbed, and then quickly closed the vehicle’s door before the terrorist could board. The terrorist then fled and a police Special Patrol Unit officer saw him with the knife. The officer shot and killed him.

Dr. Yoni Elstein, an MDA volunteer who was at the scene, said that “in the bus, in a seat near the driver, a fully conscious woman in her 60s was sitting, suffering from a stab wound to her upper body.”

Paramedic Emanuel Stern said the victim was aware of her surroundings and able to communicate in the ambulance en route to the hospital.

Medic Levi Levine of United Hatzalah said that he was on the other side of the street dropping off a cousin at the central bus station when he heard “four or five shots.” He immediately ran toward the sound, arriving just in time to see the terrorist being killed.

“There was a guy on his face with a knife in his hand” and several armed men were running toward him, Levine told The Jerusalem Post minutes after the attack.

Levine said that he checked the attacker and that he had no pulse.

A search of his pockets uncovered a blue identity card, indicating that he was either an Israeli citizen or a Jerusalem resident, Levine said.

According to the Shin Bet, the attacker was a 23-year-old Palestinian from east Jerusalem. Security forces named him as Ahmed Shaban, from the Ras al-Amud neighborhood in the capital. He served time in an Israeli prison from 2012 to 2015 for security offenses.

As police pushed the throng of onlookers back from the scene, rumors of another attack swirled through the crowd, prompting police and onlookers to run confused through the surrounding streets. There were sporadic shouts of “Arabs out.”

MDA paramedics treated a number of people suffering from shock and paramedics down the block from the attack were loading an ambulance with crying witnesses.

The terrorist’s body was removed in a black body bag, ZAKA rescue and recovery organization head Yehuda Meshi Zahav said.

Hours before both incidents, police sealed off the entrances to the capital’s southeastern Jebl Mukaber neighborhood, which is where many recent attackers have hailed from, including three who were either shot and killed or arrested during Tuesday’s wave of attacks.

Several metal detectors have been added throughout the Old City, including at the entrance to the Temple Mount, in an effort to prevent further attacks in the Muslim Quarter.

“Police continue to maintain heightened security in the area and throughout the city,” Rosenfeld said.

Meanwhile, Border Police officers stationed at northeastern Jerusalem’s Shuafat refugee camp arrested a busload of Arab passengers en route to the Old City on Wednesday afternoon, when a search uncovered a knife hidden under a seat, police said.

An investigation determined that the weapon belonged to a 24-year-old man who boarded the bus with an infant.

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