Israel Police: Arab Attackers Set Out Knowing They Will be ‘Arrested, Shot or Killed’
Another Palestinian stabbing attack was thwarted at Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate outside the Muslim Quarter of the Old City, Israeli media reported on Monday, a day after five other attempted attacks in Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Police stopped a teenage Arab girl for an ID check after they determined her to be acting suspiciously. Officers discovered the 15-year-old was carrying a knife in her pocket and arrested her, discovering a second knife in her bag.
Israel Police foreign press spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld told The Algemeiner shortly after the attack that “it’s obvious to [the attackers] that they are going to be arrested, shot or killed.” He said the attacks happen “sporadically,” but noted that the assailants set out “with the full intention to kill Israelis.”
He said police were focused on “preventing attacks in Jerusalem and the Damascus Gate area,” which has been a flash point for attacks since the outbreak of violence last October. On Sunday, a man was shot by police near the Damascus Gate, after pulling a gun on the officers. Rosenfeld said there has been a “change in police tactics” reflecting the uptick in violence over the last couple of weeks, following a dip in terrorist attacks reported by the Shin Bet security agency in January.
The police spokesman said the authorities were trying to spread a message among the Jerusalem Arab communities — he mentioned the neighborhoods of Sur Baher and Abu Tor in east Jerusalem — to “not get involved in the incitement” to carry out attacks against Israelis. Israeli authorities have blamed rampant incitement in the Palestinian Authority, both in official media but also on the Internet and social media, for galvanizing many of the young attackers, which Rosenfeld said averaged in age between 21 and 22.
He also noted a “a change, in that females and youngsters are involved in the attacks,” a day after Israeli soldiers shot and killed two 15-year-old boys in the Palestinian village of Araqa near Jenin in the West Ban; a 17-year-old who ran at soldiers with a knife near Jerusalem; and critically wounded a 21-year-old Palestinian woman who tried to stab a Border Policeman at a checkpoint in Hebron.