Third teen charged in Damascus Gate stabbing

US victim who made aliya last month intends to join IDF.

January 31, 2016 23:10
2 minute read.
damascus gate

Passers-by walk near the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City [File[. (photo credit: REUTERS/AMMAR AWAD)


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A third Arab teenaged suspect from east Jerusalem was arrested on Sunday after turning himself in to police for participating in the stabbing of a 17-year-old American-Israeli Jewish boy outside the Old City’s Damascus Gate the previous evening.

The unidentified victim, who made aliya last month from Brooklyn, told police he and a friend were surrounded by Arab youths at approximately 5:45 p.m. while walking on Sultan Suleiman Street, after praying at the Western Wall.

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Moments after taunting both Jewish teenagers, two of the attackers brandished knives, and one of the assailants stabbed the ultra-Orthodox victim in the back before fleeing the scene, police said.

The second assailant ran away after the stabbing, sparing the other boy, police said.

The victim, who said he made aliya to study at a pre-military academy and serve in the IDF, sustained a light wound and was rushed by Magen David Adom paramedics to Jerusalem’s Hadassah University Hospital on Mount Scopus, where he was expected to be released later on Sunday.

The attack was videotaped by CCTV surveillance, leading police to two 15-year-old suspects in the Old City roughly an hour later, while the third 16-year-old suspect turned himself in on Sunday morning after learning his arrest was imminent.

“All three suspects were part of the planning and carrying out of the attack,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said, adding that the three Palestinian teens have been arraigned at Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court.

Noting the mob nature of the attack, Rosenfeld said more arrests are expected as police continue to review the CCTV footage.

During a press conference at the hospital on Saturday night, the victim described the harrowing encounter to Israeli media.

“It seemed like they wanted to kill us,” he said. “There were two of them with knives, and they looked young... I didn’t see them come at me, and I only realized I had been stabbed when I saw blood and them running away... I understood that it was a terrorist attack and that I had been stabbed.”

Despite the traumatizing attack, the teen said he will not hesitate to join the IDF to serve his new country.

“I was never afraid,” he said.

“God willing, I will enlist in the army and join Sayeret Matkal [the General Staff Reconnaissance Unit].”

Meanwhile, Rosenfeld said extra police units have been dispatched to patrol the area where the stabbing took place.

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