WARNING: Footage in the above video shows the terror attack from security tapes. Viewer discretion is advised.
A Palestinian terrorist moderately wounded an Israeli in a stabbing attack at Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate on Saturday. Border Police officers at the scene shot the assailant dead, a move which has been dubbed a "war crime."
The Israeli, a 20-year-old haredi (ultra-Orthodox) man, was given medical treatment by Magen David Adom (MDA) paramedics and rushed to Shaare Zedek Medical Center, where he remains in stable condition.
Some social media users were up in arms after a viral video showed the attacker, 25-year-old Mohammed Shawkat Salima, lying on the ground after being shot by Border Police officers, who hovered above him, one of whom, it seems from the video, fired the second shot that killed him.
A family member of Salima told KAN radio on Sunday morning that there was no indication of his intent to carry out an attack and that had the family known of it, they would have "locked him up." The family member added that they thought it was unnecessary to kill Salima - it would have been enough to neutralize him as a threat.
According to Palestinian media, IDF carried out various arrests in connection with Salima on Sunday morning, including his brother, as well as two other men from Ramallah.
In a similar vein, Regional Cooperation Minister Esawi Frej said on Twitter that the killing of the terrorist was an “act of indifference towards human life” that “deserves to be investigated,” adding: “You must only shoot attackers to save human lives, not take their lives when they no longer pose a danger.”
אל מול ניסיון רצח, יש לירות בתוקפים כדי להציל חיי אדם, לא כדי לקחת את חייהם שלהם כשאינם מהווים עוד סכנה.
אם התמונה המשתקפת מהסרטונים משער שכם נכונה, לא מדובר רק בהפרה של הוראות הצבא והמשטרה, אלא גם במעשה שמבטא אדישות לחיי אדם שראוי שייחקר.
— Esawi Frej 'עיסאווי פריג (@EsawiFr) December 4, 2021
A man in his 40s was arrested by Israel Police on Saturday evening for driving Salima to Jerusalem and potentially aiding him in the terror attack. The man, a resident of an area of concentrated Arab towns and villages near the West Bank called “the Triangle,” will be interrogated by police as they conduct a search of his vehicle.
Following the attack, a number of Palestinians in the area surrounding Damascus Gate were arrested, according to the Palestinian Information Center. It is unclear if the arrests were made in connection with the terror attack.
Joint List MKs Aida Touma-Sliman and Ofer Cassif both expressed harsh criticism towards the officers, calling their act an “execution.” Touma-Sliman said it was a “horrible and terrible crime” and Cassif said the killing was a “blatant war crime.”
פעם דיברו על "ניטרול". הוא על האדמה ומבצעים בו וידאו הריגה. הוצאה להורג של אדם שלא מהווה יותר איום - היא פשע איום ונורא. זו המציאות שהכיבוש מייצר. pic.twitter.com/bdQEFXgMj2— MK Aida Touma-Sliman (@AidaTuma) December 4, 2021
עוד הוצאה להורג ללא משפט שנקלטה בעין המצלמה. ירי באדם פצוע או שרוע שאינו מהווה סכנה, יהיה מעשהו אשר יהיה, הוא פשע מלחמה בעליל.— Ofer Cassif עופר כסיף (@ofercass) December 4, 2021
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett sent prayers to the injured Israeli and said that the Border Police officers acted “quickly and with determination, as is expected of them.”
הלוחמת והלוחם פעלו באופן מהיר ונחוש כמצופה, למול מחבל שניסה לרצוח אזרח ישראלי. אני מבקש להעביר להם את מלוא הגיבוי ומתפלל לרפואת הפצוע.— Naftali Bennett בנט (@naftalibennett) December 4, 2021
Some 30 Palestinians were injured during confrontations with Border Police, N12 reported.
The entrance to Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount was blocked off by Border Police following the stabbing attack, Palestinian media reported
Later in the day, Bennett held a situational assessment with Israel Police chief Kobi Shabtai and Public Security Minister Omer Bar Lev. The prime minister ordered them to continue taking the necessary actions to prevent the heightening of tensions in Jerusalem.
Border Police commander Amir Cohen said he will be giving his “full backing” to his officers at the scene who killed Salima: “The officers acted resolutely, ending the incident by preventing a larger attack on both civilians and officers.”
Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked also offered her support saying Border Police officers “stand in the frontlines and we stand behind them.”
לוחמי מג"ב עומדים בקו החזית ואנחנו עומדים מאחוריהם.החלמה מהירה לפצוע— איילת שקד Ayelet Shaked (@Ayelet__Shaked) December 4, 2021.
Last month, a shooting attack carried out by a Hamas member in Jerusalem’s Old City killed Eliyahu David Kay and injured four others.