Purim festivities continue in capital despite terror attack

Jerusalem Mayor Barkat urges citizens to continue celebrating despite car ramming attack that injured 5.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
March 6, 2015 13:38
1 minute read.
Purim in Jerusalem

Revelers gather in Jerusalem for Purim 2014.. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat encouraged residents of the capital on Friday not to let terrorism affect their holiday plans in the aftermath of a vehicular attack in the city that left five people wounded earlier in the day.

"Come celebrate in Jerusalem," Barkat said, echoing police sentiment to carry on as usual despite the violent incident which occurred during the Jewish holiday of Purim, when the streets are normally crowded with people. "Especially now."

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"We will not allow terrorism to disrupt our lives," said Barkat, who has been mayor since 2008 and has seen a spate of similar attacks in the city late last year, as tensions between Israelis and Palestinians flared.

In October and November, Palestinian drivers rammed their vehicles into pedestrians standing at various light rail stations, attacks which left three people dead and about a dozen injured.

In recent months though, the city has been relatively quiet.

Barkat vowed to continue to fight violence "without compromise," as he commended "the security forces, police units and citizens for their vigilance," and the swift response to Friday's incident, which prevented further casualties.

"Our answer to terror is to continue with our daily lives," he said, adding that Purim festivities in the capital would go forward as planned.

Security and police presence will be heightened in the city in light of the attack, which was carried out by an east Jerusalem resident who was shot and wounded by a security guard after he rammed his vehicle into a group of pedestrians waiting at a rail station. 

"I invite all of the citizens of Israel to celebrate Purim in Jerusalem and to strengthen our city."

Police said in a statement that it was prepared for any situation and was reinforcing its presence in the city "in order to allow festivities to continue."

Residents were encouraged "to be cautious and report to the police about any person who seems suspicious."

Jerusalem District Police Chief Moshe Edri promised that "no event in Jerusalem will be stopped." Rather, "we will restore the calm to the city" which has been intact since early this year.


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