Sunday, December 10, 2017

10-Dec-17: A stabbing attack on a security guard shuts down Jerusalem's main bus station

The alleged attacker is pinned down by police
and security in an image from social media
A knifing attack reported a little after 2:15 pm this afternoon (Sunday) has left a security guard badly injured and undergoing treatment at Jerusalem's Shaarei Zedek Medical Center. Israel National News gives his age as about 25.

The attacker was stopped by means that are not yet clear but is reported to be alive. One source [here] describes him as a Palestinian Arab male of 24. Photos of his knife, dripping with blood, are circulating in the social media.

Times of Israel says the victim was unconscious by the time he reached the emergency room. It adds:
According to police, the suspected terrorist is a 24-year-old Palestinian from the West Bank. His name was not released. It was not immediately clear how he entered Israel, specifically if he had a work permit or if he had done so illegally. After he was subdued, the suspect was stripped to ensure he did not have a suicide vest or other weapon hidden under his clothes.
The Central Bus Station area, near the main entry point to Jerusalem and always congested during the afternoon peak hour, is now affected by police barriers and shut-downs.

Associated Press quotes Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld saying the guard was seriously wounded Sunday and his attacker arrested. The Magen David Adom medical service says a 30-year-old male suffered a stabbing wound in his upper body:
The incident appeared to be the first attack since President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The announcement set off protests and demonstration across the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, and demonstrations around the world.
But let's be clear. Terrorism isn't a protest. Or a demonstration.

UPDATE 6:30 pm December 10, 2017: Times of Israel says the victim, an employee of a private security firm, is older than originally reported:
"Medics from the Magen David Adom ambulance service said they tried to stop the bleeding and applied bandages during the five-minute ambulance ride to the hospital. The victim, 46, was taken to the capital’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center for treatment where doctors were battling to stabilize his condition and save his life, said Dr. Ofer Merrin, the head of trauma center. “The knife, unfortunately, hit his heart. His condition has stabilized, but I cannot say that there’s not threat to his life because, like I said, he’s in serious condition,” the doctor said, adding that he was unconscious and connected to a respirator."
We don't have his name yet.

UPDATE 7:40 pm December 10, 2017: We're told the name (for prayer purposes - in Jewish tradition, the name of the mother is invoked) of the critically injured security guard is Asher ben Tamar. He could use everyone's prayers. The knifer, according to Israel National News, is a 24-year-old Palestinian Arab from Nablus (in Hebrew: Shechem), who goes by the name Yassin Abu Al-Keraa. [Others write it Yasin Abu al-Qur’a or al-Qar’a] He is being treated for his injuries. A Facebook post he uploaded today is translated as  “For Allah’s sake we rose up, we wish to raise the banner…to let our religion [Islam] exult once again, and to make the Al Aqsa Mosque [on the Temple Mount] once again be resplendent... Please let our blood be spilled – for it is of little matter to spill one’s blood for our homeland, for Jerusalem, and for the Al Aqsa Mosque.”

UPDATE 5:00 pm January 14, 2018
With deep thanks to the A-mighty, we can report that the security guard who was stabbed in the heart during a terror attack at Jerusalem’s Central Bus Station on December 10, 2017, was released today (Sunday) from Jerusalem's Shaarei Zedek Medical Center. Doctors say the condition of Asher Elmaliach, 46, is very good. He was transferred today to a rehabilitation program where efforts will continue to be made to help him regain his physical strength. Times of Israel says Elmaliach spent weeks on an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation machine, or ECMO. This is designed to take the strain off the heart and lungs by undertaking some of their functions, removing carbon dioxide from the blood and resupplying it with oxygen. The attacker (we named him above) from Wadi al-Fara, near Nablus, was charged on December 28, 2017 with carrying out “a terrorist act of attempted murder” and with entering Israel illegally. The charge sheet says that on the morning of the vicious attack, al-Qar’a “said goodbye to his loved ones on the phone”, bought a knife and illegally traveled to Israel in order to carry out an act of terror. Having been told of Trump’s announcement to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, “the defendant planned to stab as many Jews as possible until he was killed and turned into a martyr,” the indictment reads. He first went to Hadera, taking advantage of an Israeli government permit that allowed him to enter the “seam zone” of the West Bank though but not Israel within the Green Line. Fearing he would be discovered if he traveled on a public bus, he took a NIS 500 ($140) cab ride from Hadera to Jerusalem. During the ride, he composed his last will and testament "based on what he’d been taught in Palestinian Authority schools", according to the indictment. At Jerusalem's Central Bus Station, he was stopped at the door by Elmaliach who asked him to pass through a metal detector before entering. The knife hidden in his coat was then detected at which point the attacker, realizing Elmaliach was Jewish, “decided to stab him to death”. He nearly succeeded.

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