During a brazen attack Tuesday afternoon in the normally peaceful Jewish Quarter
of the Old City, several Arabs threw rocks at two young women, injuring one of
them before fleeing, police said.
According to National Police spokesman
Micky Rosenfeld, at approximately 1 p.m. the suspects began throwing rocks at
the women without provocation, resulting in a light hand injury to one of the
Upon being approached by a number of police officers, the group
fled into the Old City’s labyrinth of alleys and walkways, evading capture.
Rosenfeld noted that such attacks in the Jewish Quarter are
“These types of incidents don’t happen very often,” he said a
couple hours after the assault. “The incident is being treated very seriously
and police will thoroughly review surveillance footage likely recorded and make
Rosenfeld is referring to the state-of-the-art Police
Intelligence and Observation Center, located in the Old City, which is hooked up
to an intricate network of hundreds of surveillance cameras streaming live
footage 24-hours a day to some 40 large high-definition
“Hopefully, we can use the camera system to find out who the
suspects were by seeing what they look like, how they were dressed, and exactly
where they were and then use it as proof in court, so it’s very important,” said
MK Reuven Rivlin (Likud) said Tuesday he believes the attack
was an effort to further exacerbate already tenuous peace negotiations in an
attempt to prove to the world that co-existence between Arabs and Jews is
“Jerusalem is a microcosm of the ability of Jews and Arabs to
live together,” said Rivlin.
“And when extremists on both sides see even
the possibility of finding understanding to bring an end to the conflict they’ll
do something to prevent it.”
Rivlin continued, “Without the idea that we
can live together peacefully we will not bring an end to this conflict, and they
are doing their best to prove that Arabs and Jews cannot live
While Meretz councilman and east Jerusalem Portfolio head Meir
Margalit said that it is impossible to determine if the attack was politically
motivated until the assailants are arrested, he said he wholly agreed with
“There’s no question that extremists from both sides
are trying to undermine negotiations,” he said, adding that the protracted
nine-month long process is giving terrorists a large window of time and an
international stage to derail any success.
“One of the problems with this
peace process is that it’s too long and gives extremists opportunities to
attempt to ruin it,” he said. “It would be far better if it did not last for
nearly one year.”
Tuesday’s attack followed a pronounced spike in
terrorist activity over the past few weeks.
On Friday evening, a female
16-year-old Palestinian attempted to stab a border police officer stationed at
Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate before being disarmed and wrestled to the ground,
resulting in one officer sustaining a cut to his leg.
On December 23,
Rami Ravid, a 41-year-old police officer, was stabbed in the back by a
Palestinian terrorist next to the West Bank Highway 60 junction, just outside of
Jerusalem and Ramallah.
Ravid was rushed to Shaare Zedek Medical Center
with a 15-centimeter blade still lodged in his back. Although the knife was
successfully removed during surgery, he lost a kidney. Police continue to search
for his assailant.
Ravid’s assault came approximately 24 hours after
Border Police thwarted a separate knife-wielding terrorist attack at the Ma’aleh
Adumim checkpoint, and a bomb was detonated on an empty bus in the Tel Aviv
suburb of Bat Yam earlier that afternoon.
No one was seriously wounded in
On Thursday, Israel Police, with the aid of the IDF and
Shin Bet, arrested 14 Palestinians believed to be behind the bus
Rosenfeld has repeatedly urged the public to remain acutely
aware of their surroundings at all times and to alert police immediately of any
“Security assessments continue to be made and police
are stepping up patrols to prevent future attacks,” he said.