Three terrorist attacks in Jerusalem and the West Bank within hours of each other Tuesday afternoon left a security guard lightly wounded and three Palestinian assailants shot, one of them fatally.
In the first attack, at roughly 12:30 p.m., a 25-year-old security guard was accosted by two Palestinian cousins, ages 12 and 13, on a light-rail car in the capital’s northeastern Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood.One of the assailants stabbed the unidentified guard in the upper torso, lightly wounding him, before the guard shot the terrorist, leaving him in serious condition.Passengers immediately came to the guard’s aid, subduing the second suspect and holding him until police arrived, police spokeswoman Luba Samri said.Pat police station commander Ch.-Supt. Avi Cohen praised the security guard and passengers for their quick action.“The rapid determination of the guard and tram passengers prevented more innocent people from being harmed,” he said.The security guard was treated by Magen David Adom paramedics before being taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, Samri said. No one else was wounded. Minutes later, a 37-year-old terrorist wielding a knife charged two security guards at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City.The terrorist was shot by one of the guards, leaving him in critical condition, Samri said. After being treated by paramedics, he was taken to Hadassah-University Medical Center on Mount Scopus.Kedem Police District head Ch.-Supt. Chaim Shmueli commended the security guards for their quick response.Later on Tuesday afternoon, a Palestinian man pulled a knife on and charged Border Police officers manning a checkpoint next to Abu Dis, just east of Jerusalem, who had asked him to show his identification. Police opened fire on the attacker, who was later pronounced dead at the scene. No other injuries were reported in the incident.Also on Tuesday, Border Police officers patrolling near the security barrier in Samaria were attacked by rioters throwing rocks and bottles near the village of Tira.The officers entered the village to arrest the suspects.While detaining a rioter, a man pulled out a knife and tried to stab one of the officers, who managing to fight him off, and arrested him.“In an instant, I understood that this was going from a simple arrest for throwing rocks to an attempted stabbing,” the Border Police quoted an officer named as “D.” as saying. “All I could do was get away from the knife and then hit him until he was subdued,” D. continued.Meanwhile, Channel 10 reported that Ahmed Mansara, the 13-year-old Palestinian boy who stabbed a Jewish boy identified as “Naor” in Pisgat Ze’ev last month, moments after stabbing another man, has agreed to confess to the attack, but will not serve prison time.CCTV footage showed Mansara and his 15-year-old cousin, Hassan Mansara, stabbing 13-year-old Naor in the neck shortly after he got on his bicycle upon exiting a candy store. The cousins then kicked the boy while he was on the ground.Separate surveillance footage recorded minutes earlier shows the two attackers chasing a 21-year-old Jewish man running for his life, after they had stabbed him nearby. The man escaped with light wounds.After attacking Naor, both terrorists fled on foot, their bloodied knives still drawn. The elder Mansara was shot dead moments later, after charging police with a knife, while Ahmed was struck by a car.Following emergency surgery at Hadassah-University Medical Center in Jerusalem’s Ein Kerem neighborhood, Naor, who was in critical condition, underwent what doctors called a near-miraculous recovery, and was released from the hospital several days ago.The stabbing made international headlines after PA President Mahmoud Abbas erroneously alleged that the assailant was “killed in cold blood by Jewish settlers.”According to the Channel 10 report, Mansara is expected to confess this week to two counts of attempted murder. His lawyers are expected to try to reduce the charges against him by claiming it was his cousin who stabbed both victims.The report added that Mansara is confessing to the charges now to avoid doing so in January, when he will turn 14 and thereby be eligible for imprisonment in a juvenile facility.Following Tuesday’s attack in Pisgat Ze’ev, lawmakers worked on bills to lower the minimum age under which an assailant may receive a prison sentence.Currently, minors under the age of 14 cannot be sent to prison, though some are sent to a home for troubled youth.MK Anat Berko (Likud) submitted the bill on Monday, before the train attack took place, and requested that the legislative process be accelerated.The bill proposes that the minimum age for a prison sentence be waived in cases of minors who commit crimes with a nationalist motive.“The recruiters take advantage of the loophole in the law, knowing that the children won’t be sent to prison,” said Berko, a professor of criminology whose expertise is in Palestinian suicide bombings. “Even the children know that, so it is easier to convince them to go out and attack.”Berko called for “urgently closing the loophole that could cost human lives.” In the meantime, police said heightened security will be maintained in Jerusalem and the West Bank amid a probe to determine if Tuesday’s attacks were independent or coordinated.
Scene of stabbing attack in Pisgat Ze"ev