Sunday, October 09, 2016

09-Oct-16: In Jerusalem, first reports of Arab-on-Israeli shootings this morning

Medics, police, victims: A Jerusalem tram stop this morning [Image Source]
The wailing sounds of ambulances and police vehicles are in the air this beautiful, early-autumn morning in Jerusalem. And the unmistakable chop-chop of a helicopter near our home. This has been going on for about 25 minutes. That's usually a sign of something worrying. It's now 10:50 am on Sunday.

From Times of Israel:
At least four people were injured in an apparent shooting attack near Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem Sunday, according to police and emergency medical officials. One woman, approximately 60 years old, was shot in the upper body and critically wounded in the attack, according to the Magen David Adom ambulance service. The attacker had been shot, police said. It was not immediately clear what his condition was, though initial reports indicated that he had been killed. The assailant arrived at police headquarters on Haim Bar-Lev Street and opened fire, hitting a civilian, police said. He sped off towards the Arab neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. Police officers on motorcycles saw the shooting and gave chase, police said. The assailant then opened fire at the officers, who shot and “neutralized him,” police said. The critically wounded vehicle was taken to the capital’s Hadassah Hospital Mt. Scopus, the hospital said.
As has happened so many times before, the armed attackers sought out innocent public-transport commuters standing at the open-air tram stop. It's what they and their backers call "resistance".

The Palestinian Arab news channel, Ma'an, is reporting that the assailant is dead:
At least six people have been injured in a drive-by shooting near the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah Sunday morning, while the gunman has been shot and killed by Israeli police. Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld said in a statement that shots were fired near Israeli police headquarters in Jerusalem, and that Israeli police responded to the scene and shot the "terrorist" after a brief pursuit. The area, which is also known as Ammunition Hill and is near a light rail station, has since been closed of by Israeli police.
In its Arabic-language edition, though not in the English, the targets of the shooting - presumably all Israelis - are called "settlers". They're uncommonly clever people, these editors at Ma'an, with an astonishing ability to instantly discern between ordinary wounded Israelis and Israelis who have settled something. It's something worth noting when the matter of funding for Ma'an News Agency by its various European donors next comes up. (Ma'an cannot function without European charity.)

Israel National News says there have been two separate attacks, each at a different station on the Jerusalem Light Rail track:
A terrorist opened fire from a passing car at the Ammunition Hill and Shimon Hatzadik train stations. Six reported injured,two critically... Six people were injured at after a terrorist opened fire there Sunday morning, two of them are in critical condition, according to initial reports from MDA and police. The attack took place at two different places. A white car stopped and opened fire at the train station, injuring passengers. The driver then drove to the Shimon Hatzadik station and opened fire, wounding more passersby. He was then reportedly eliminated by a Special Patrol unit of motorized police. Four of the injured are described as in moderate to serious condition.Two of them, a man and woman are described as in critical condition.
Another source has said, with no confirmation at this stage, that shootings took place not at two but at three separate sites.

UPDATE Sunday October 09, 2016 at 12:30 pm
Two of the Israeli victims have died of their injuries. Times of Israel says
At least seven people were shot and two of them killed in a shooting attack near Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem Sunday morning, police and emergency medical officials said. Police described the incident, which saw an East Jerusalem gunman open fire at pedestrians and police over a several hundred meter swath of the capital, as a terror attack. One woman, approximately 60 years old, was shot in the upper body and critically wounded in the attack, according to the Magen David Adom ambulance service. A police officer, approximately 30 years old, was also critically wounded in a shootout with the assailant, police said. Both were later declared dead, after being rushed to Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus, a spokesperson said. Three other victims, including a 68-year-old man, were moderately wounded, while another two were lightly injured in the attack, according to MDA. The attacker was shot and killed. He was identified as a 39-year-old resident of Silwan, in East Jerusalem, police said. He possessed an Israeli identification card, according to Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan.
Ma'an News Agency identifies the shooter as Misbah Abu Sbeih, 39 from Silwan, a Jerusalem neighbourhood. No way of knowing for sure whether this is significant but if you Google that name, it produces plenty of hits. And though they don't know him, Israel National News says now that
The Jerusalem terrorist who was eliminated earlier was today supposed to have started a prison sentence of four months for incitement to violence and support of terror.
In our value system, he's a terrorist.

Over on the dark side by contrast, the Palestinian Arab world has rapidly (predictably) embraced him as a hero [Facebook]. Candies are being handed out - there are pictures of it in the social media today. In terms of their culture, the key term is, of course, "martyr". Click on this search link (we created it) and at this hour (2:30 pm) you will see almost two thousand Arabic-language web-links invoking the dead gunman's name and calling him "martyr". How long before they name table-tennis tournaments in his honour? He represents the values they are indoctrinating into every level of their society. In the Palestinian Arab value-system, there is no such thing as an innocent Israeli, All of us are "settlers" and legitimate targets for murder. If this ever changes, we can think about starting to prepare for peace. But not before.

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