Some prefer to blame announcements from government officials of planned construction in areas that are viewed as “Israeli occupied” by the US and Europe, while others point a finger of blame at Har Habayis activists for the latest round of Islamic violence in Yerushalayim, Yehuda and Shomron. Jerusalem has R”L been hit with a number of fatal attacks since the ceasefire that ended Operation Protective Edge and police appear to be failing in their efforts to bring an end to increasing daily Islamic violence. In essence, we do not need to seek a cause for the renewed violence other than the Islamic community has an agenda, to increase the pressure on Israeli leaders to make additional concessions to the PA and others.
Attacks against the Jerusalem light rail are daily occurrences, usually more than once a day resulting in about half of the fleet being out of service. Damage is estimated in the tens and hundreds of millions of shekels and residents of Shuafat and other areas of the northern capital destroyed entire light rail stations in that area and other predominately Arab areas such as Beit Haninah.
Police on Wednesday evening, just a few short hours following the attack, are under attack in Jerusalem’s Old City and Shuafat and Arab residents simply are undeterred from their desire to strike out at will. Israel Police Chief Yochanan Danino in a bizarre effort to reassure citizens insists “this is not a new intifada” as if not giving it the “I” word diminishes the Islamic violence which continues to plague the capital and other areas. Standing at the chief’s side shortly following the vehicular attack Minister of Public Security Yitzchak Aharonovich, a retired Israel Police chief himself, told the nation with authority that he is sure this would not be the last attack. He explained that everything possible is going to be done but “we cannot prevent such attacks”.
Clearly when Aharonovich and Danino speak about a “zero tolerance to terror and violence” policy, they are not on the same page as former NYC Mayor Giuliani was during his term in office.
Shortly after 18:00, the bomb squad was called to a Bat Yam bus as Arabs were observed carrying a bag with wires protruding out of it, leading passenger to fear it was a bomb. Police in a Twitter update report the man was taken in custody, describing him as a PA (Palestinian Authority) illegal from Ramallah who has not permit to be in Israel. The bag is being probed to determine if it is an explosive device. Bomb technicians determined the bag did not contain a real explosive device.
Earlier in the day the light rail was attacked with rocks, now a daily ritual, as border police do their utmost amid an awareness their standing orders limit their response considerably.
A bus traveling in northern Shomron near Mevo Dotan was bombarded with stones during evening rush hour. A police vehicle traveling near Betar Illit in Gush Etzion was attacked with stones earlier. B’chasdei Hashem there were no injuries. There was damage to the vehicle. At 19:00, border police in Shuafat were still under attack with stones and firebombs as they continue efforts to halt the violence.
The Foreign Ministry released a statement that Jordan’s decision to recall its ambassador to Israel “does not assist in calming the situation”. It appears Jordan is outraged after learning border police on Wednesday morning 12 Marcheshvan entered al-Aqsa with their shoes on, ordered to apprehend the terrorists who were throwing stones and fireworks at police and Jewish visitors. This act of disrespect as Jordan prefers to see it justifies recalling its ambassador as Amman continues efforts to exert its sovereignty over Har Habayis.
Police officials have informed the family of the terrorist that his body would be released close to midnight and that it will limit participation in the funeral to 35 people. A son of the terrorist released a message “I am proud my father died a shahid”.
The terrorist’s wife added “since the morning hours he was monitoring events at al-Aqsa, seeing the blood and injuries, the desecration and the events. He left home in a hurry and went to sacrifice himself among the shaheedim and heroes”.
In a Twitter message from US Secretary of State John Kerry released by the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, Kerry states “I condemn today’s terrorist act of somebody driving in another car into innocent people standing on the roadside. Not just a terrorist act & act of-an atrocity, but only makes matters worse. It only raises tensions”.
Hamas’ Khaled Meshal calls on Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Morocco to protect al-Aqsa from Israel.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced he is holding a security briefing at 20:30 following the terror attack.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)