Thursday, September 24, 2015

24-Sep-15: A day of violence, though not as violent as feared

Hebron, moments before the shooting by an IDF soldier of
a woman whose knife was detected by a security machine and
who evidently pulled it to launch a stabbing attack [Image Source: Reuters
There's nothing quite as potent as holidays to expose our neighbours' passion for the sort of lethal violence we described yesterday ["22-Sep-15: What do the Palestinian Arabs think?"]

Tonight is the night after Yom Kippur, the 25 hour day of fasting, introspection and prayer that ended here in Jerusalem about 6 hours ago, and is drawing to a close right now in North and South America. It's also the start of the Muslim festival of Eid el-Adha.

Here's a selective, non-chronological summary of how the day (and the evening before it) passed for those charged with keeping Israelis (of every sort) safe.
  • A female terrorist aged about 18 attempted Tuesday to stab a Border Police officer at the Kikar Hashoter roadblock in Hevron. She was shot and seriously wounded, and eventually succumbed to her injuries later in the day. No Israelis were harmed. [Israel National News, September 23, 2015]. Haaretz reports that the woman, Hadeel al-Hashlamun, was shot after launching a stabbing attack on a soldier. It quotes a preliminary investigation into the incident conducted by the IDF's Judea Regional Brigade commander: he found that a metal detector went off when the Palestinian Arab women walked through the security checkpoint, and that the soldiers manning the post called on her to stop. She failed to do so, and they then fired warning rounds into the ground in front of her. Then "the soldiers claim she pulled out a knife, and that's when they fired shots at her legs. The soldiers said they opened fire for a second time after the woman tried again to raise the knife."
  • Just after midnight on Tuesday, the body of an Arab was found near Beit Haggai, south of Hevron. An initial investigation shows that he was killed while attempting to throw a bomb at a military vehicle. Security forces had been alerted to the scene when local residents spotted an improvised roadblock on the highway. As they combed the area, they heard an explosion and later found the body of the terrorist. He was apparently killed while trying to deploy the bomb against the soldiers. [Israel National News, September 23, 2015] The Reuters version: A Palestinian militant died when a bomb he was trying to throw at Israeli forces blew up near the West Bank city of Hebron overnight, officials from both sides said on Tuesday" [Reuters]
  • Rocks were thrown Monday evening at Egged's Line 140 bus to the Samarian community of Beit El. The vehicle's windshield was smashed. Thankfully, no injuries. [Israel National News, September 23, 2015]
  • Israel Defense Forces troops manning a post in the Jordan Valley arrested a Palestinian man who approached their position carrying an explosive device, the military said Wednesday. The incident occurred hours after the Yom Kippur holiday ended. The suspect was taken in for interrogation, the army said. [Times of Israel, September 23, 2015]
  • Two firebombs were hurled at the at the fence of the Samaria community of Psagot, near Ramallah. Palestinian Arabs were suspected, Israel Radio reported. The explosives failed to ignite and no injuries are reported. [Times of Israel, September 23, 2015]
  • Rocks were hurled yet again at a Jerusalem Light Rail tram by Arabs in the North Jerusalem neighborhood of Shuafat. Damage was caused to the vehicle but no injuries. Police are searching for suspects. [Times of Israel, September 23, 2015]
  • A car was struck by rocks and damaged on Highway 75. [Israel National News, September 23, 2015]
  • Several fires were reported to have ben set in Jerusalem during Yom Kippur. Arson is suspected. [Times of Israel, September 23, 2015]
  • A firebomb caused damage to the balcony and garden of a home in the Jerusalem mixed (Jewish and Arab) neighborhood of Abu Tor after midnight on Wednesday morning (Yom Kippur). [Times of Israel, September 23, 2015]
  • A brush fire in the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Pisgat Ze’ev, close to Moshe Dayan Boulevard, a major thoroughfare - but almost empty on Yom Kippur - is believed to have been deliberately set. [Times of Israel, September 23, 2015]
  • A fire in scrubland near Jerusalem’s Biblical Zoo is also believed to have been caused by an act of arson. [Times of Israel, September 23, 2015]
  • A fire was set on Cassuto Street, in the intensely-populated Jerusalem neighborhood of Bayit Vagan, close to a synagogue. Fortunately, no injuries were reported [Times of Israel, September 23, 2015]
  • Multiple reports of Arab rock-throwers targeting Israeli Jews in their vehicles during the past 36 hours, including Yom Kippur, in parts of northern Israel ["Arab Violence Erupts in Northern Israel During Yom Kippur", Israel National News, September 23, 2015]: Arabs youths placing boulders in the road to block the entrance to the northern community of Dovav on Monday night after Yom Kippur began. Police detained them for questioning. [Israel National News, September 23, 2015]
  • Also: Arab youths threw rocks at a passing car near Hosen Junction on Route 89. No one was injured and there was no damage to the vehicle, though police have still opened an investigation. [Israel National News, September 23, 2015]
  • Also: An Israeli vehicle traveling near Golani Junction, a major northern intersection, was hit by rocks. Tiberias police are investigating. [Israel National News, September 23, 2015]
Overall, the enlarged police presence in Jerusalem, along with the closing of security checkpoints between Judea-Samaria and Jerusalem to mark Yom Kippur, have had a positive effect on keeping the violence level relatively subdued.

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