(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
The stabbing of an Israeli man in the capital on Tuesday morning was a criminal matter, not terrorism-related, while a second reported terrorist attack minutes later at a nearby Jewish enclave in east Jerusalem was also a false alarm, police said.
The two suspected terrorist attacks come against a backdrop of hyper public vigilance, as Jerusalem’s terrorism wave continues to rattle concerned residents.
The first incident took place shortly after 8 a.m. on Beit Yisrael Street, when the victim, an unidentified 25-year-old Jewish man, was lightly wounded after being pierced with a knife in his arm by the assailant, who remains at large.
According to Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, responding officers initially believed the incident was indeed a terrorist attack.
“Multiple police units arrived at the scene quickly and didn’t take any chances,” he said. “After speaking with the victim, it was determined that it was a personal dispute, and not terrorism related.”
Rosenfeld said the man was treated at the scene by Magen David Adom paramedics before being transferred to Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center, from which he has since been discharged.
“This was a criminal matter, possibly over money, and police have opened an investigation and are actively searching for the suspect,” he added.
Minutes after that stabbing, police dispatchers received several more emergency calls from the capital’s predominantly ultra-Orthodox eastern Ramot neighborhood, reporting a purported terrorist attack, Rosenfeld said.
“Police received calls about a possible terrorist attack at a synagogue on Shechtman Street, but when units arrived it turned out to be a false alarm,” he said, adding that an investigation into the calls has been opened.
Nonetheless, noting that the public has been asked to remain acutely aware of any suspicious activity since the ongoing wave of terrorism began in October, Rosenfeld emphasized that police welcome all incoming information, regardless of the outcome.
“It is completely understandable that a lot of calls are coming in at this time, and the public is encouraged to continue calling police any time they witness or suspect suspicious activity,” he said. “Police take every call extremely seriously, and will investigate all activities to prevent a terrorist attack.”
In the meantime, security in the capital is at the highest level, and will remain so until the terrorism threat has been lifted, Rosenfeld said.
“We can see that there is still a terrorism wave, and although most of the recent attacks have been in the West Bank, police are leaving nothing to chance in Jerusalem,” he said.