Netanyahu calls for ‘strong, swift and precise’ response
On Friday and Saturday, the Arab part of the city was the scene of two attacks against Jews. One, which killed seven people, is the deadliest on record in Israel since 2014.
Saturday evening, during an emergency meeting of the security cabinet, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called for an answer “ strong, fast and precise. Among the measures that would be considered by the security cabinet: sealing the homes of the families of the assailants, arresting their relatives, passing a law allowing the deportation of their families and making it easier for Israelis to bear arms. These measures follow the events of the past two days: in quick succession, Jerusalem has been targeted by two attacks, one of which, which killed seven people, is the deadliest recorded in Israel since 2014.
It took place Friday evening, after Shabbat prayers, in front of the Ateret Avraham Synagogue in Neeve Yaakov, an Israeli settlement neighborhood in the eastern part of Jerusalem, occupied by Israel since 1967. The assailant, Khayir Alqam, was a 21-year-old man from Ras El Amoud, a Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem. The night from Friday to Saturday was marked by riots near the Old City of Jerusalem. The next morning, Silouan, another Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem, was the scene of a second attack. It took place near the City of David, an Israeli archaeological excavation site located at the foot of the walls, near the esplanade of the Mosques. A 13-year-old Palestinian boy from the neighborhood fired at Israeli bystanders, armed men who returned fire. The attack left two injured, the assailant was also injured.
At the end of the day on Saturday, a new attack took place near Jericho, in the occupied West Bank, where a Palestinian fired on a restaurant located near an Israeli settlement. His weapon jammed and he fled without causing any casualties. He was wanted by the Israeli army.
Still tense atmosphere in Jerusalem
The two attacks in Jerusalem have in common that they were perpetrated by young Palestinians, residents of East Jerusalem. Both unknown to the Israeli police, they chose targets with strong political significance: a settlement neighborhood inhabited by ultra-Orthodox Jews and an archaeological site claimed, by the Israelis, as the place of origin of the king’s city. David. The Israeli security forces are worried about new similar attacks, by mimicry, whereas until now the violence was mainly contained inside the West Bank.
At the end of the day on Saturday, the atmosphere was still tense in Jerusalem, where additional police forces had been deployed. In the West Bank three battalions of the Israeli army have also been sent as reinforcements. On Saturday evening, the Israeli police chief urged Israelis with guns to keep them with them and “ use it when necessary. »
“The language between us and the occupier is that of arms!”
Since an operation by the Israeli army on Thursday morning in Jenin, which left nine Palestinians dead, the Palestinian Authority has ceased its security cooperation with Israel. In a statement released Saturday following a meeting led by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, she maintained that stance, saying, without mentioning the attacks in Jerusalem, “ hold the Israeli occupation government responsible for the dangerous escalation caused by its crimes (…), its policy of colonization (…) and desecration of sacred sites, Muslims and Christians. On Instagram, a video Saturday showed the secretary of Fatah – the party of Mahmoud Abbas – in Jenin. M16 rifle in hand, he exhorted the crowd by launching: “ the language between us and the occupier (Israel, editor’s note) is that of arms! On Friday night, news of the attack on the synagogue sparked jubilant scenes across the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Coming as much from the European Union as from Russia, calls for restraint are multiplying. According to the Palestinian Authority, 31 Palestinians have been killed since the beginning of January. In 2022, the death toll stands at 144, making this the bloodiest year since the end of the second intifada.
Saturday evening, we knew the identity of four of the victims of Friday’s attack: a couple in their forties, Eli and Natalie Mizrah, a fifty-something, Rafael Ben-Eliyahu and a fourteen-year-old teenager, Asher Natan.