Uptick in ‘lone wolves’ puts police on edge

Shin Bet to increase security measures after latest wave of attacks in Jerusalem, Hebron.

September 21, 2016 06:22
1 minute read.
Car ramming attack thwarted in Kiryat-Arba

Car ramming attack thwarted in Kiryat-Arba. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Police are on high alert in Jerusalem and Hebron after a string of recent “lone-wolf” stabbing attacks. On Tuesday, Jerusalem Police District Commander Yoram Halevy said that police are facing operational difficulties in dealing with the attacks.

“We have no intelligence at the moment... It is a lone terrorist who decides the moment. He chooses the method, he chooses the means, he chooses the way,” Halevy told Army Radio.

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Even so, police are heavily increasing their presence in Jerusalem, especially east Jerusalem, in hopes of deterring more attacks. On Monday, police announced the surge of forces in Jerusalem.

According to spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, police are dealing with the challenges of lone-wolf attackers by dispersing police units throughout the city. “These are sporadic attacks committed by lone individuals who wake in the morning and make a decision to attack,” he told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday, “the police have mapped out units throughout the city placing a major emphasis on being capable of responding to an attack within seconds.”

Hundreds of police were stationed throughout Jerusalem on Tuesday including train stations, public spaces and in the Old City.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, Israel Police Deputy Commissioner Zohar Dvir, Jerusalem District Police Commander Yoram Halevy, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and members of the IDF and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) to increase security measures after a wave of six attacks within 48 hours, which has now increased to 11 attacks on soldiers, police, and civilians as of Tuesday.

Two police officers were stabbed outside the Old City on Monday. A female officer, 38, was seriously injured and taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center for multiple stab wounds to her neck and upper back. A male officer in his 40s, was moderately- to-seriously wounded, and was taken to Hadassah-University Medical Center in Ein Kerem. As a result of the stabbing, police ordered the closure of stores near the Damascus Gate. The closure was lifted on Monday evening.

However, as the High Holy Days approach police say they will remain on high alert especially around Jerusalem’s Old City and holy sites.

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