Netanyahu Praises ‘Courage, Tenacity’ of Border Policewoman Wounded in East Jerusalem Shooting, Stabbing Attack
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the courage and tenacity of one of the border policewomen who was wounded in Wednesday’s terrorist attack outside the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem, following a visit to the victim at the Hadassah Medical Center in the city.
“I just visited with the Border Policewoman who – along with her comrades – acted with heroism and resourcefulness,” said Netanyahu, according to a statement released by the Government Press Office. “Together with their commander, they prevented a much greater disaster. I was impressed by her courage, tenacity and steadfastness, and of her family.”
“Of course,” he continued, “we all grieve over the death of Hadar Cohen, a genuine hero. We all embrace her family.” The prime minister was referring to another victim of Wednesday’s attack who ultimately died of her wounds.
The border policewoman who Netanyahu visited, Ravit Mirilashvili, was also critically wounded in the attack. She said she believed Hadar saved her life while acting to protect other civilians. “This is what we were drafted for and this is why we are here,” she said, according to the release.
Netanyahu also noted the Israeli security measures taking place in response to the ongoing wave of terrorist attacks, including Wednesday’s in Jerusalem, which was perpetrated by three Palestinians from the town of Qabatiya in the northern West Bank.
“Qabatiya is cordoned off,” he said. “The IDF and the [Shin Bet domestic security agency] are carrying out widespread arrests. This is only part of our efforts to fight this terrorism, and we will defeat it.”
The prime minister noted that overcoming the incessant terrorism facing Israelis “would take time,” adding that the struggle was “protracted,” all of which reiterates a caution he has been making since the violence started picking up last October.
The prime minister linked Wednesday’s attack, carried out by West Bank Palestinians, to a what he called a global trend of “Islamic terrorism,” including attacks by ISIS.
“Islamic terrorism is inundating the world and inciting millions in many countries, from Jakarta to Africa to California,” he said, referring to recent ISIS-linked attacks in Indonesia’s capital and San Bernadino. Kenya, Mali, Cameroon, Niger, Nigeria, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia were among the African countries targeted by terrorist groups, some of them several times, in 2015. “We are part of this turmoil; it is not skipping over us; and we are fighting it with great strength and will continue to do so.”
Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, both designated terrorist groups by Israel, the US and the European Union, applauded Wednesday’s attack. The Palestinian Authority issued no official response.
According to Wafa, a PA news agency, Israeli forces had blocked all roads leading to Qabatiya on Wednesday, closing the entrances to the town with “earth mounds.” IDF troops also raided the family homes of the three attackers, who were all shot and killed at the scene of the attack, interrogating some of their relatives. Six Palestinians were also arrested in connection with the attack, according to Wafa.