Police walk near Jerusalem's Damascus Gate 390 (R).
(photo credit: Ammar Awad / Reuters)
Following a spate of violent crimes in the capital over the last several days
and weeks – including a double homicide on Tuesday, a murder at the Western Wall
in June, and two stabbings barely one week apart – Police are increasing patrols
throughout the city.
As part of the heightened security measures,
incoming passengers at the central bus station in the capital Thursday were
subjected to an x-ray screening for the first time in several months, forcing
them to wait in long lines, according to Army Radio.
that the disproportionate confluence of violent crimes is troubling, Police
spokesman Micky Rosenfeld emphasized Thursday that the stabbings and murders
were unrelated and should not panic the public.
Still, he conceded that
police are taking preemptive measures to curtail future attacks, particularly in
light of the sensitivity of Ramadan.
“Taking into consideration the
numerous violent incidents that have taken place over the past few weeks, Police
have stepped up patrols in different neighborhoods,” said Rosenfeld. “In
general, we have extra patrols and are regularly making security
Rosenfeld continued, “At the moment, it’s an important and
sensitive time of year with Ramadan, and police are taking measures to ensure
On Tuesday, Natan Jorno and his daughter Yamit, aged 51 and 26,
were shot repeatedly at close range in their downtown law firm by Getagon
Tadesse, 49 – a disgruntled security guard and client represented by the firm in
his divorce proceedings – over an alleged financial dispute.
since admitted to the murders and said he will plead insanity in his defense,
according to the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court.
The judge overseeing his
case has ordered he undergo a psychological evaluation and remain in jail for
the next eight days.
The same afternoon the Jorno’s were buried, a
middleaged Jewish man was brutally stabbed in the public bathroom of Bloomfield
Park Wednesday, allegedly by an Arab assailant, in an unprovoked assault that
police are investigating as terrorist-related.
According to Rosenfeld,
the 50-year-old Jerusalem resident was attacked from behind and sustained
serious wounds in his upper torso during the attack. He was subsequently rushed
by ambulance to Hadassah University Medical Center, Ein Kerem, where he was
listed in serious condition.
On June 21, Hadi Kabalan, a Druse security
guard at the Western Wall, was charged with the premeditated murder of Doron
Ben-Shlush, a Jewish worshiper, who was shot 14 times.
July 17, two Arab men allegedly stabbed a haredi man in his 30s multiple times
outside Damascus Gate in east Jerusalem, while he was walking home after Tisha
The victim was taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center, where he was
listed in moderate condition.
While police have launched dual
investigations into both stabbings, none of the assailants in either case has
been apprehended yet.
Rosenfeld acknowledged the two stabbings may have
been the result of Arab and Jewish tensions, but emphasized that Tuesday’s
shooting had nothing to do with Ramadan or potential terrorist
“This is happening on two levels,” he said. “There were
incidents that may have involved Ramadan and an incident that was criminal and
had nothing to do with it.”
Meanwhile, several residents of the capital
said they were unconcerned by the violence.
“Look, this is Israel,” said
one citizen, who requested anonymity. “We’ve seen much worse, and we will get
“It’s terrible what has happened, but I feel safe,” said
Tsufit, who asked that her last name not be published. “We are not going to go