Scene of Jaffa Gate stabbing in Jerusalem, Nov. 24.
(photo credit: HATZALAH UNITED)
A Jewish man in his 40s was stabbed in the upper torso Monday evening, while another man sustained light wounds, when they were attacked by a group of Arab assailants near Jerusalem’s Old City’s Jaffa Gate.
According to Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, police “strongly believe the stabbing was a terrorist attack.”
“The victims were surrounded by a group of Arab men, and one was stabbed and the other was lightly injured, although it is not clear if he was stabbed as well,” Rosenfeld said shortly following the attack.
Police arrested one of the suspects and continue to search for the others after they fled the scene, he said, adding that the stabbing victim managed to walk to a nearby police station, where he received first aid before being rushed to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.
“Police continue to search the Old City for the other suspects and hope to make arrests soon,” Rosenfeld said.
The attack comes after an Arab youth said he was assaulted Sunday night by three Jewish men near Pisgat Ze’ev, a Jewish neighborhood in northeastern Jerusalem.
The unidentified victim was transferred to an area hospital in light condition, police said.
Meanwhile, police announced on Monday that an Arab resident of the Old City was arrested last week on suspicion of spreading violent propaganda on his Facebook page.
In a statement, police said Mahmoud Asila, age 32, was arrested on November 18 for posting photos and videos deemed as “incitement,” which called for running over security forces and for attempting to spur car attacks against Israelis in general.
An investigation by Jerusalem police revealed that after the November 5 car attack during which Ibrahim al-Akri of Shuafat drove into bystanders and killed a Border Police officer and wounded 13 people, Asila posted images and videos on his Facebook page praising the terrorist and condemning security forces who shot and killed Akri.
Asila posted photos of himself holding guns, knives and an assault rifle, police said. In one screen shot taken from his Facebook page, his background photo shows a picture of a car driving into Israeli soldiers, with the words “run over for the sake of Jerusalem” in Arabic.
Another screen shot showed a picture of Egged bus driver Yusuf Hassan al-Ramouni, 32, who a coroner concluded committed suicide by hanging himself in a bus last week, although the Arab media has charged he was murdered by Jewish settlers.
In the image, Asila wrote: “May you have the blessing of paradise/ the sons of dogs have hanged you.”
The investigation also revealed that Asila made threats against Muhammad Zoabi, the 16-year-old cousin of MK Haneen Zoabi living in Nazareth, who published videos in June in Arabic, Hebrew and English supporting Israel and calling for the return of the three kidnapped yeshiva students.
Asila took responsibility for the Facebook posts, but claimed they are a part of his “freedom of speech,” police said.
According to the investigation, Asila’s postings garnered thousands of Likes from supporters.