Baby among wounded in attack near Lions’ Gate; attacker stabbed one victim, shot at group of tourists before being neutralized by police.
Two Israeli males were killed while a two-year-old baby, as well as a 22-year-old woman, were wounded Saturday night by a Palestinian attacker in the Old City of Jerusalem near Lions’ Gate.
The two males were evacuated to hospital in critical condition and later declared dead. The baby was lightly wounded and the woman was in moderate-serious condition.
All were members of the same family that was on their way to pray at the Western Wall. The additional woman was said to be in serious condition.
The terrorist, 19-year-old Mohand Halabi from Ramallah, was shot and critically injured by security forces, and died of his wounds soon after.
The attacker began his attack by approaching a group of Jews, at least some of whom were on their way to prayers, at which point he drew a large knife and began stabbing.
One of his victims – a woman who was moderately wounded – ran to police stationed some 50 meters away and alerted them to the attack. Police and border police forces ran towards the scene immediately, and were immediately fired upon by the terrorist, who had apparently seized a pistol from one of his victims.
A police spokesperson said the attacker first stabbed the father and took his gun, which he used to fire at the woman and a group of nearby tourists until he was neutralized.
Forces responded with accurate fire towards the terrorist, fatally wounding him.
According to Magen David Adom, one 40-year-old victim – apparently the father – was transferred to Shaarei Tzedek hospital with multiple stab wounds all over his body.
The latest attack comes as Palestinian leaders continue to call for more violence against Israelis, on the heels of last week’s deadly terrorist attack in which Arab terrorists murdered two parents in front of their children.
In further violence Friday, an Israeli mother and daughter were lightly injured in a rock-throwing attack close to the town of Migdalim, near Hevron.
Also on Friday, a border policeman was lightly injured by Arab rock-throwers near the Lion’s Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City.
Earlier Friday, police arrested a 25-year-old resident of the Arab neighborhood of Shuafat in Jerusalem, on suspicion of attempting to carry out terrorist attacks against border police in the city, after CCTV showed the man hurling a firebomb at security forces.
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Hamas called the attack “heroic” and said “We support and welcome any resistance activity that harms Israeli soldiers and settlers. Our people in the West Bank are ready to die, to sacrifice themselves to defend the Al-Aqsa Mosque.”
Police Chief of the Jerusalem District Moshe Erdi arrived at the scene and told the media that the attacker was neutralized within two minutes and that such incidents are “part of the reality of living in the Old City.”
A day before the terrorist Mohand Halabi set out to attack, wrote on his Facebook “From what I can see, a third intifada has broken out. What is happening in Al Aqsa is what is happening in [all] our holy places and the way of our Prophet, and what is happening to the women of Al Aqsa is what is happening to our mothers and sisters.
“I don’t think the people will accept this humiliation. The people will rise up in an intifada,” he wrote.
One of the deceased was later identified as Nahmia Lavi (41) a 23-year resident of the Old City and rabbi for the IDF (res). Lavi’s friends said that he descended to the scene of the attack with his handgun to stop the attacker but was stabbed instead and the Palestinian took his weapon.
The deceased father of the baby was identified as Aaron Banita (24).