2 killed in Jerusalem attack named as Nehemia Lavi, Aharon Banita
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2 killed in Jerusalem attack named as Nehemia Lavi, Aharon Banita

Banita's wife badly hurt, baby injured in Old City terror stabbing; father of 7 Lavi lived nearby and rushed out to help

  • The victims of a fatal stabbing attack in Jerusalem on Saturday October 3, 2015: Nehemia Lavi, 41 (left) from Jerusalem, and Aharon Banita (Bennett), 22 (right) from Beitar Illit. (Courtesy)
    The victims of a fatal stabbing attack in Jerusalem on Saturday October 3, 2015: Nehemia Lavi, 41 (left) from Jerusalem, and Aharon Banita (Bennett), 22 (right) from Beitar Illit. (Courtesy)
  • A Jewish man carries a baby injured in a stabbing attack in the Old City of Jerusalem on October 3, 2015. The terrorist was shot down by police. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
    A Jewish man carries a baby injured in a stabbing attack in the Old City of Jerusalem on October 3, 2015. The terrorist was shot down by police. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
  • Israeli police near the scene of a stabbing attack in the Old City of Jerusalem on October 3, 2015 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
    Israeli police near the scene of a stabbing attack in the Old City of Jerusalem on October 3, 2015 (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
  • Israeli police near the scene where a stabbing attack took place in the Old City of Jerusalem on October 3, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
    Israeli police near the scene where a stabbing attack took place in the Old City of Jerusalem on October 3, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
  • Muhanad Shafeq Halabi, 19, was identified as the terrorist who killed two Israeli men in their 40s on October 3, 2015 in a stabbing attack in Jerusalem's Old City. (Israel Police)
    Muhanad Shafeq Halabi, 19, was identified as the terrorist who killed two Israeli men in their 40s on October 3, 2015 in a stabbing attack in Jerusalem's Old City. (Israel Police)

The two Israeli men who were killed Saturday evening in a terror attack in Jerusalem’s Old City were named by police as Nehemia Lavi, 41, and Aharon Banita, 22.

The two died of their wounds shortly after being stabbed in Jerusalem’s Old City by a Palestinian terrorist.

Banita’s wife was in serious condition and their two-year-old baby was lightly wounded. She was taken to Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem and was undergoing surgery. The toddler was taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center for treatment where he remained in stable condition.

Lavi, a Jerusalem resident, leaves behind a wife and seven children. A rabbi at the Old City’s Ateret Cohanim yeshiva who lived nearby, he had rushed to the scene when he heard screaming in the street.

His funeral was scheduled for Sunday at noon at Har Hamenuhot in Jerusalem, also known as the Givat Shaul cemetery.

French-born Banita and his family lived in Beitar Illit. He was set to be buried Sunday on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.

Lavi and Banita were stabbed in the upper body and were unconscious when paramedics arrived at the scene.

Banita was taken to Hadassah Hospital Mount Scopus where he died of his wounds shortly after the attack. Lavi was taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center where he also died Saturday night.

When the attack began, Banita’s wife, though badly injured, managed to run and alert a group of Border Police forces nearby who arrived on the scene. The assailant had by this time grabbed a gun from one of those he had stabbed, and he fired at the cops, who shot and killed him.

Hundreds of police officers had been deployed in the Old City, for fear of attacks, but Jerusalem Police Chief Moshe Erdi said there had been no specific information regarding this attacker.

In video footage that emerged Saturday night after the attack, a woman’s screams can be heard followed by gunshots.

The baby was shot in the leg, although it was not entirely clear how. Police said the attacker may have grabbed a firearm the father was carrying.

The incident occurred near Lion’s Gate in East Jerusalem.

The terrorist was identified as Muhannad Shafeq Halabi, 19, from al-Bireh, near Ramallah in the West Bank.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack, while Hamas issued a statement praising the “heroic operation.”

Muhannad Shafeq Halabi, 19, was identified as the terrorist who killed two Israeli men in their 40s on October 3, 2015 in a stabbing attack in Jerusalem's Old City. (Israel Police)
Muhannad Shafeq Halabi, 19, was identified as the terrorist who killed two Israeli men in their 40s on October 3, 2015 in a stabbing attack in Jerusalem’s Old City. (Israel Police)

“Halabi is a member of Islamic Jihad,” a senior member of the Palestinian terror group told AFP on condition of anonymity, after the group issued a statement hailing the attack and saying it was in response to Israeli “terrorist crimes” against Palestinians.

Saturday’s attack came just two days after an Israeli couple was gunned down in front of their four young children while driving in the West Bank on Thursday evening.

Naama and Eitam Henkin were shot dead by two Palestinian attackers while driving between the settlements of Elon Moreh and Itamar, near the Palestinian village of Beit Furik, close to Nablus.

Their children — aged 9,7, 4 and 4 months — who were in the backseat of the vehicle, were unharmed.

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