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October 10, 2016 12:45 pm

High Anxiety Among Jerusalemites in Wake of Deadly Palestinian Shooting Rampage

avatar by Ruthie Blum

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Jerusalemites at a bus stop in the area of Sunday's shooting spree. Photo: Israel's Channel 2.

Jerusalemites at a bus stop in the area of Sunday’s shooting spree. Photo: Israel’s Channel 2.

Anxiety is palpable in Jerusalem in the wake of Sunday morning’s deadly Palestinian terrorist attack, which left two Israelis dead and six others wounded, Israel’s Channel 2 reported on Monday.

According to the report, the tension in the air is compounded by the heavy presence of security forces in certain parts of the city, particularly in the areas where Sunday’s shooting spree took place. Furthermore, as residents attempted to return to a semblance of routine a day before the eve of Yom Kippur — the Jewish Day of Atonement — many said that the murderous attack had shaken any sense of security they may have felt beforehand.

According to Channel 2, hardly a vestige of Sunday’s terror attack was still visible at the scene of the three-pronged, drive-by slaying rampage, committed by a 40-year-old resident of east Jerusalem’s Silwan neighborhood who was about to start serving a jail sentence for assaulting an Israeli police officer.

“People who don’t pass by here on a daily basis wouldn’t notice the difference,” said one Jerusalemite, referring to the bolstered police activity and vigilance in examining the IDs of the city’s Arab residents. “Usually, there are more people walking around and standing at bus stops. Today, there is a drastic reduction in the number of citizens out and about. On the one hand, the presence of police provides a feeling of greater safety; on the other, it serves as a reminder of why many are opting to say at home.”

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Another Jerusalem denizen, however, said she was unfazed. “We are used to this situation,” she shrugged. “Haven’t we seen terrorist attacks before? There isn’t a person in Jerusalem who hasn’t been in — or knows someone who has been in or witnessed — an attack. Nothing has changed in our lives since yesterday.”

An Arab passerby told Channel 2 that police were taking advantage of the terrorist attack to make life difficult for fellow members of his community. “Because of one terrorist, we all have to suffer? People [Arabs] are afraid to move, so as not to be shot,” he said.

Meanwhile, according to the Hebrew news site nrg, Palestinian news outlets were reporting about a wave of arrests being carried out in east Jerusalem. Among the detainees, the reports said, was the 16-year-old daughter of the terrorist — who was shot dead by Israeli security forces after he managed to murder 29-year-old police officer Yosef Kirma and 60-year-old Lavana Malihi. (The terrorist’s father was detained and released after being interrogated in the immediate aftermath of the attack.)

Palestinian media also reported that clashes erupted between Israeli security forces and masked Palestinians during the arrest operations.

Nrg said that after the attack, celebrations were held near the home of the terrorist, lauding his slaughter of Israelis. As The Algemeiner reported on Sunday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah faction glorified the terrorist, calling him a “martyr” for Allah. In two separate postings on its official Facebook page, Fatah not only praised the killer, but declared a day of mourning and general strike in his honor.

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  • AreaMan

    I don’t think the anxiety was very high. I went shopping Monday afternoon in Shabbat Square, Jaffa Street and Mahane Yehuda. Everyplace was extremely crowded and business was very brisk. The light rail was packed to the gills.

    I got so much stuff I could barely carry it. So I hailed a cab and an Arab cab driver drove me home.

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