|The promenade leading to Jaffa Gate is the scene of this afternoon's|
co-ordinated stabbing attacks [Image Source]
[UPDATE: 7:00 pm Times of Israel reports that the Israeli, a man of 40, unintentionally shot by Border Guard fire, has died of his injuries. Ofer Ben-Ari, 40, of Jerusalem, is survived by his wife and two children. A second Israeli victim, Argentine-born Rabbi Re'uven Biermacher from Kiryat Ye'arim, a teacher of Torah at Aish HaTorah, father of 7, died of knife-attack injuries.]It's reported [Times of Israel, December 23, 2015] that the attackers were a pair of Palestinian Arabs. One of the victims is reported to have struggled with his stabber and was stabbed multiple times. Both of the knifers were shot by Border Guard fire at the scene. Both are dead.
In the Arab media, they are named as Anan Abu Habsah Hamad, 20, and Issa Assaf, 19, both from Qalandiya. There's no confirmation of this from official Israeli sources since the pair were not carrying ID or other documents, according to the police. How likely is it that they are already elevated to the Palestinian Arab pantheon of murdering "martyrs"? Quite. (And for those anxious to see what the savages looked like, here's a Twitter photo.) Israel National News says both spent time in Israeli prisons in the past for terrorism offences.
Our most recent mentions of Qalandiya were here:
- 18-Dec-15: Vehicle ramming attack on Jerusalem's northern edge
- 23-Nov-15: Central Jerusalem's shuk - two slashers attack and are stopped
- 17-Oct-15: Bloody Saturday
- 17-Oct-15: Knife attack at Qalandiya Crossing tonight
As of today's stabbings, Arab-on-Israeli attacks have cost the lives of 23 victims since the current wave of extreme violence began during the Jewish New Year festival period in September 2015. With that in mind, let's recall what the prime minister of Sweden, Stefan Lofven, said in an interview with the Swedish news agency TT in early December:
“There is an international classification regarding what constitutes or does not constitute [terror]. As far as I know, the [knife attacks in Israel] are not defined as terror.” [Source]His Minister of Foreign Affairs Margot Wallstrom was quoted a few days before that saying Israel
was conducting “extrajudicial executions” of Palestinian stabbers, calling the Israeli response to the terrorist attacks “disproportionate.” [Source]