Israel early Wednesday demolished the home of East Jerusalem car terrorist Abdel Rahman al-Shaludi, who on October 22 killed two people in a hit-and-run attack in Jerusalem. A fifth victim of Tuesday’s Jerusalem synagogue terror attack, Druze policeman Zidan Saif, died of his wounds late Tuesday, having been shot in the gunfight that ended the Har Nof synagogue assault. He was laid to rest on Wednesday afternoon. The four Jewish victims had been buried Tuesday afternoon. The Times of Israel liveblogging developments as they unfolded through Wednesday. Tuesday’s liveblog is here.
Policeman’s death takes Har Nof terror toll to five
PREAMBLE: Israel is reeling from Tuesday’s terror attack at a Har Nof synagogue, in which four Jewish men at prayer — all of them rabbis who lived on the same street in the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood — were killed by two cousins from East Jerusalem’s Jabel Mubaker neighborhood.
Police said the two attackers entered the synagogue at 7 a.m. and began attacking worshipers at morning prayers with a gun, a meat cleaver, and an ax. Both terrorists were killed by police within seven minutes. One of the policeman who rushed to the scene, and was shot in the gunfight, Zidan Saif, died of his wounds late Tuesday. Three more people are still in Jerusalem hospitals in critical condition.
Thousands attended slain worshipers’ funerals
Thousands of people gathered Tuesday afternoon in the Har Nof synagogue that was the site of the attack for the funeral procession of three of the men who were killed.
Rabbi Aryeh Kupinsky, 40, Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, and Rabbi Kalman Levine, 50, were buried at the Givat Shaul cemetery.
The funeral of the fourth victim, 59-year-old Rabbi Moshe Twersky, took place earlier.
Police to ramp up Civil Guard in capital
The Jerusalem Municipality and police decided late Tuesday to bolster Civil Guard activity in neighborhoods across the city, in the wake of the terror attack.
“We decided to launch an extensive campaign to recruit volunteers for the Civil Guard in Jerusalem,” Mayor Nir Barkat said at the end of a briefing with Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino and Jerusalem District Commander of police Moshe Edri.
“I call on the residents of Jerusalem to volunteer and help strengthen the civilian aid to security forces.”
The Civil Guard is a division of the Israel Police and consists mainly of civilian volunteers.
In killers’ home village, no condemnation
Channel 2’s Ohad Chemo, visiting East Jerusalem’s Jabel Mukaber, from where Tuesday’s terrorists hail, said he’d been trying to see if any of the locals were prepared to condemn the cold-blood killing of Jews at prayer in a synagogue, without success.
Not everybody defended the action, he reported Tuesday evening, but he found nobody who’d speak to the camera and condemn it.
A relative of the killers, Ghassan and Uday Abu Jamal, said he was surprised by the attack. But asked to condemn it, he chose not to, and instead talked about Sunday’s death of a Palestinian bus driver — found hanged in a bus in what an Israeli autopsy determined was a suicide, but the family and Palestinian media have blamed on Jewish extremists.
Netanyahu urges global denunciation of terror
At a press conference in Jerusalem late Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to stop all instances of incitement, which ultimately lead to terror attacks.
“Hamas, the Islamic Jihad, and the PA are spreading false rumors, saying we are defiling the Temple Mount, that we plan to destroy holy sites — those are all lies,” he said.
He added that a “blood libel” was also spread about the suicide of a Palestinian bus driver for the Egged company on Sunday, in further anti-Israel incitement.
Netanyahu described the four victims of the Har Nof attack as “innocent and pure” and sent condolences to their families.
“This time,” he noted, Abbas “condemned the massacre… and that’s good… but it’s not enough.”
He slammed “daily, hourly incitement” against Israel in the PA territories… against the very fact of Israel’s existence.”
There’s incessant incitement in schools, mosques, media — “that’s the root of the conflict: the refusal to accept the legitimacy” of the Jewish state, he said.
“To my sorrow,” Netanyahu added, the world does not demand the PA end incitement against Israel. “I urge all world leaders… I want to see shock, utter denunciation” of terrorism, of the murder of Jews in their prayer shawls.
Checkpoints to be erected in East Jerusalem
For the first time in decades, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered the setting up of checkpoints at the entrance to East Jerusalem’s Arab neighborhoods, following Tuesday morning’s fatal terror attack in a Har Nof synagogue.
The prime minister also instructed security forces to carry out raids on the homes of suspected terrorists in the city.
In addition, two more Border Police contingents will be assigned to the capital.
Police honor slain Druze officer in tweet
The Israel Police says in a tweet it “bows its head in remembrance of Zidan Saif, 30, who risked his life to save lives and was killed in the terror attack in Jerusalem this (Tuesday) morning. May his memory be blessed.”
Saif was reported to have been the first policeman to reach the scene of Tuesday’s Har Nof attack, and was shot in the head by one of the terrorists.
His parents and wife were at his bedside at Hadassah’s Ein Kerem Hospital as doctors fought to save his life throughout Tuesday, praying for his recovery. He leaves behind a 7-month-old daughter as well.
משטרת ישראל מרכינה ראש לזכרו של זידאן סיף (30), אשר חירף נפשו להצלת חיים ונרצח בפיגוע הבוקר בי-ם. יהי זכרו ברוך pic.twitter.com/ebtHvb0lk5
— משטרת ישראל (@IL_police) November 18, 2014
Police detain 6 over weekend’s Druze-Muslim riots
Police are continuing their arrests of suspects connected to Friday’s violent clash in the northern Druze-Muslim village of Abu Snan, which left 26 people injured, Israel Radio reports.
Officials say they have detained six people today from nearby villages on suspicion of throwing rocks in the village over the weekend. They add that of the four other suspects detained on Monday, three have been released to their homes and have been banned from visiting Abu Snan in the coming month.
The conflict between the Druze and Muslim communities of the village erupted over the weekend, reportedly following a stabbing attack between two high school students, one Muslim and one Druze, after the two exchanged insults online.
ToI’s Horovitz: Terrorists should know, it won’t work
The Times of Israel’s David Horovitz pens an op-ed noting that “at the core of this new iteration [of terrorism], Tuesday’s attack made murderously clear, is Muslim intolerance — of the very notion that Jews have a religious connection to the Temple Mount, and by extension to Jerusalem and to Israel.”
“Appallingly in the last few weeks,” he goes on, “Abbas made himself a party to this intolerance. Unlike Hamas, he does not openly call for Israel’s destruction. He may not, in his heart of hearts, even seek it. But he has allied himself to the extremists in castigating as “contamination” the Jewish desire to express the link to the site of the Biblical temples, the site that roots our historical legitimacy here.”
Says Horovitz: “The final thing that has to be put in writing, even on a horrible, evil day like this, when the fingers loathe the necessity to tap the keyboard, is that it’s not going to work. Palestinian terrorists, and those who incite them and support them, should know: We are not going to be shot and stabbed and bludgeoned out of here by your brutality and the false justifications you invoke to legitimate it.”
Synagogues across the country told to post guards
In the wake of Tuesday’s deadly attack in Jerusalem, synagogues throughout Israel have been instructed to place security guards at their entrances.
Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich also announced today that his office will ease requirements for gun licenses, to allow civilians to protect themselves from attack.
Ireland condemns ‘horrific’ Jerusalem attack
Ireland is condemning yesterday’s “horrific” and “unacceptable” terror attack in Jerusalem.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan says in a statement: “I condemn absolutely the horrific attack on the Har Nof synagogue in Jerusalem and express my deepest sympathies to the Israeli victims of this brutal and senseless terrorist act and their families. The desecration of a place of worship, in a city held holy by so many people of different faiths around the world, is an unacceptable attack on the freedom of worship.
“I call on all sides to avoid provocations in response to these brutal murders and to act with responsibility and restraint. The violence of recent months in Jerusalem has underlined the importance of respect for all religions and the need to ensure a sustainable political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“I reiterate my call for an urgent return to the negotiations and call on all parties to take steps towards the achievement of the two-State framework and the ending of the occupation of the Palestinian territories.”
.@CharlieFlanagan: 'I condemn the horrific attack on the Har Nof synagogue in Jerusalem & express deepest sympathies to the Israeli victims'
— IrishForeignMinistry (@dfatirl) November 18, 2014
US consulate warns Americans: Jerusalem attack different from previous ones
The US consulate in Jerusalem has issued a warning to US citizens in Israel to maintain awareness due to the security situation in Israel and be mindful of suspicious activity.
“Today’s incident differs from recent attacks, potentially demonstrating low-level coordination to attack a pre-identified soft target as opposed to an opportunistic random act of violence,” the consulate says in a statement. “While we cannot predict where and when attacks may take place, we have consistently seen a cycle of violence in East Jerusalem neighborhoods following incidents like the one today.
“The current dynamic security environment underscores the importance of situational awareness, especially in crowded public places that may have minimal overt police presence.”
French leader condemns ‘terrifying’ terror attack
French President Francois Hollande condemns the “terrifying” attack on a synagogue in Jerusalem, urging Israel and the Palestinians to resume talks seeking peace.
“Yesterday there was an attack on a synagogue in Jerusalem which was particularly terrifying…and this is unfortunately the trend in terms of what’s happening,” Hollande says in Australia during a state visit.
“So we must be very clear that we condemn these sort of actions. This is something that occurred in a place of worship. We must act to ensure that violence in Jerusalem ceases, and that conditions for resuming talks may finally be such that this dialogue can occur,” he adds.
Three people still in serious condition following synagogue attack
Five people injured in yesterday’s terror attack in a Jerusalem synagogue are still hospitalized, Israel Radio reports.
Three of those remain in serious condition in the aftermath of the shooting and stabbing attack.
IDF demolishes home of Silwan car terrorist
Israeli army engineering forces have demolished the East Jerusalem home of Palestinian terrorist Abdel Rahman al-Shaludi, who on October 22 killed two people in a hit-and-run car attack in Jerusalem.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had ordered the demolition of the homes of Jerusalem terrorists last week, but this morning’s razing of al-Shaludi’s home in Silwan is the first time the instruction was carried out.
Al-Shaludi ran his car into a light rail station killing three-month-old Israeli-American Chaya Zissel Braun and 22-year-old Karen Yemima Mosquera of Ecuador. Seven other were also injured in the attack. Al-Shaludi was shot by police as he tried to flee the scene and died of his wounds in hospital.
Pictures of terrorist’s home show apartment empty, destroyed
Photos of the home of car terrorist Abdel Rahman al-Shaludi, wrecked in the early morning hours by the military, are making the rounds on social media.
The photos appear to show that al-Shaludi’s home was part of an apartment building and so was not brought down but destroyed on the inside.
Inside home IDF demolished tonight belonging to terrorist Abdel Shaloudi, last months Jerusalem car attacker. pic.twitter.com/kwKYKOQGkA
— Israel Breaking (@IsraelBreaking) November 19, 2014
BREAKING PHOTOS: IDF demolishing home in sillwan of Jerusalem car attacker Abdel-Rahman Shaloudi. – PA MEDIA pic.twitter.com/iFrEc6osX4
— Israel News Alerts (@ILNewsAlerts) November 19, 2014
Congregants pray ‘shacharit’ at site of Jerusalem killings
Members of Kehilat Bnei Torah Synagogue are taking part in morning prayers (shacharit), the first service held at the shul since yesterday’s terror attack in which 5 people were killed, Israel Radio reports.
Economy Minister Naftali Bennett is also taking part in the service, according to the report.
For the first time, a security guard is keeping watch at the entrance.
Security officials say more house demolitions coming
The military says on the demolition of the Jerusalem light rail terrorist’s house tonight:
“The destruction of terrorists’ homes sends a sharp, clear message to those who wish to harm Israeli civilians and security forces, that terrorism and causing harm to innocents carries with it a heavy price.”
Security officials tell Ynet that further demolitions of terrorists’ homes are expected soon, and that the main holdup at this point is the need to go through the necessary legal proceedings.
Maimonides school holds vigil for slain rabbi
The Maimonides School in Brookline, Massachusetts, holds a vigil for Rabbi Moshe Twersky, a Boston native who graduated from the school in 1973.
Twersky was the grandson of R. Joseph Soloveitchik, who founded the school in 1937.
MA religious leaders decry ‘senseless killing’
Religious leaders in Massachusetts, where terror victim Rabbi Moshe Twersky grew up, issue a joint statement denouncing the Tuesday terror attack at the Har Nof synagogue.
Cardinal Sean O’Malley, Metropolitan Methodios of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston and the Rev. Laura E. Everett, executive director of the Massachusetts Council of Churches write: “The senseless killing of people in any place must always be denounced, but that these brutal attacks in the synagogue in Jerusalem should have occurred against innocent, unarmed worshippers deserves only the strongest possible condemnation.
“Our prayers go out to those who were wounded and are fighting for their lives and to all those devastated by this attack, especially the families of those who were murdered today. In a particular way, we are conscious of the death of one of our neighbors from Boston, a member of a distinguished Jewish family, Rabbi Moshe Twersky.”
‘More Americans slain by Palestinians than by IS this year’
CNN anchor Jake Tapper points out on Twitter that more US citizens have been killed by Palestinian terrorists in the past year than by the Islamic State jihadist group.
More people with American citizenship have been killed by Palestinian terrorists in the last year than have been killed by ISIS.
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) November 18, 2014
Three of the five men killed in Tuesday’s attack held US citizenship.
Wounded congregant returns to Har Nof synagogue
A congregant hurt in Tuesday’s attack returns to the scene and attends the morning prayer service at the Bnei Torah synagogue in Har Nof, Ynet reports.
“I was in the synagogue and then we heard the shooting,” says Yitzhak, a doctor at Shaare Zedek hospital. “I didn’t know what happened. I saw terrorists enter the synagogue. They chased me with an ax and I didn’t even see that we were wounded.”
The son of another injured congregant also arrives at the scene on Wednesday morning.
“His phylacteries are missing, his prayer shawl is missing, and I came to find them,” Yoseph Moualmi says. “We passed by here in the morning on the way to the hospital. My father’s condition is improving, thanks to the prayers.”
קהילת בני תורה בשכונת הר נוף, הבוקר שאחרי. מאבטח בכניסה, מודעות אבל בפנים. pic.twitter.com/3WBgmj6I2Y
— Nitzan Glusman (@nitzanglusman) November 19, 2014
Slain policeman to be buried at 2 p.m.
Zidan Saif, 30, a Druze policeman critically injured in the synagogue attack who succumbed to his wounds on Tuesday night, will be buried in his hometown of Yanuh-Jat in northern Israel at 2 p.m.
משטרת ישראל מרכינה ראש לזכרו של זידאן סיף (30), אשר חירף נפשו להצלת חיים ונרצח בפיגוע הבוקר בי-ם. יהי זכרו ברוך pic.twitter.com/ebtHvb0lk5
— משטרת ישראל (@IL_police) November 18, 2014
Vandals puncture tires in Jerusalem overnight
Police say that the tires of five cars were punctured overnight in Jerusalem in a suspected vandalism attack.
The incident occurred on Hillel Street in the center of town.
Police have opened an investigation, and have yet to apprehend any suspects.
Palestinian social media pans Abbas for denouncing attack
Israel Radio’s Arab affairs correspondent Gal Berger posts several images circulating on Palestinian social media in the aftermath of the synagogue attack.
A number of the cartoons call for the murder of Orthodox Jews, and one condemns PA President Mahmoud Abbas for denouncing the attack — by merging his face with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Abbas is under attack in social media after condemning the murder in the synagogue. one coin-1/2 Netanyahu 1/2 Abbas pic.twitter.com/JnHK26OR1L
— Gal Berger גל ברגר (@galberger) November 19, 2014
one message on Palestininan social media: kill the Jewish orthodox. pic.twitter.com/GDfEmg7PfL
— Gal Berger גל ברגר (@galberger) November 19, 2014
After attack, Jerusalem schools to beef up security
The security presence at schools in the capital will be “significantly increased” amid fears of attacks, Channel 2 reports.
The request, which came after many concerned parents of Jerusalem students turned to the municipality to complain, was approved by Israel Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino.
“Terrorists can just enter and slaughter our children,” one parent said.
“From the beginning of the year, there has been no security guard at our kindergarten. There are more than 100 kids in the school, and there is still no security guard,” another parent wrote on the Jerusalem municipality Facebook page.
Public security minister blames Abbas, social media for attacks
Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch tells the Ynet news outlet that it could take months until the violence dies down in the capital, and accuses PA President Mahmoud Abbas of encouraging terrorism on social media.
“We’re under sustained attack. There’s no quick-fix solution. Restoring quiet could take months,” he says.
The minister adds that he wouldn’t necessarily link the summer conflict to the Jerusalem violence, “though both have a connection to Hamas.”
“There is incitement, spearheaded by PA President Abu Mazen [Abbas]. Social media is making our job very difficult, and they are setting off terror [by] using the Internet to encourage attacks.”
MK Dov Lipman visits Har Nof synagogue
US-born Yesh Atid MK Rabbi Dov Lipman attends the prayer service at the Bnei Torah synagogue in Har Nof this morning, saying he wants to “demonstrate support for the regular minyan attendees” and convey the message that the Jewish people in Israel will not be intimidated by terror attacks.
“I was inspired by the intensity of this morning’s prayers and was touched deeply by the cries and tears of those who publicly gave thanks to God for surviving yesterday’s attack,” he says.
— Raphael Ahren
Meanwhile, photos emerge of the first prayer service at the scene of the gruesome attack.
Kadima head slams PM for ‘displaying helplessness’
MK Shaul Mofaz criticizes Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying that “his talk of peace and security fell apart.
“The terror attack yesterday was a slaughter that reminded us of other dark periods. We are in a religious war, and Netanyahu is displaying helplessness,” he tells Ynet.
Unlike Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, Mofaz says the violence in Jerusalem is a direct result of the summer Gaza conflict.
The former defense minister maintains that the terrorists are not operating individually, but rather that “Hamas is running things and building itself anew in the West Bank.”
He calls for better intelligence and a crackdown on operatives in East Jerusalem. If the police lack the resources, Israel should send in the IDF’s elite units, he maintains.
“In past years, Israel has abandoned East Jerusalem from a security perspective. There has been no operational activity or intelligence. How many arrests were there…? As we sit and speak, they are planning the next terror attack.”
Mofaz adds Israel must “switch to offensive action and get to them before they get to us.”
NYT reprimands Abbas in editorial
The New York Times dedicates its Wednesday editorial to the Jerusalem synagogue attack, and admonishes the PA president for failing to take a firmer stance against terror.
“The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, had to be pushed by Secretary of State John Kerry into speaking out. ‘We condemn the killings of worshipers at the synagogue in Jerusalem and condemn acts of violence no matter their source,’ Mr. Abbas said in a statement. That was apparently the first time he had denounced Palestinian attacks in recent days…. As a political leader, Mr. Abbas has a duty to make the moral case that such brutality and inhumanity can only bring shame upon the Palestinian people.”
The editorial refers to the rampage as “a tragedy for all Israelis and Palestinians.
“The two communities appeared increasingly locked in a cycle of hatred and hopelessness, where chances for stability, much less permanent peace, seem nearly impossible.”
Jordan said to delay envoy return due to attack
Jordan was set to send its envoy back to Tel Aviv before the end of the month, but pushed it off after Tuesday’s attack, a Jordanian paper reports, according to Israel Radio.
The report cites Jordanian diplomatic sources who maintain that Amman feels the attack will likely increase tensions in the capital, making the envoy’s return “inappropriate” at this time.
Jordan recalled its envoy from Tel Aviv on November 5 in protest at “Israel’s escalation on the al-Aqsa Mosque compound.”
Clashes in Shuafat refugee camp
Security forces clash with Arab youths at the entrance to the Shuafat refugee camp in East Jerusalem, Israel Radio’s Gal Berger reports.
Police are firing tear gas and stun grenades to disperse the rioters.
Settler fires into air after spotting Palestinian protesters
A Jewish resident of the West Bank shoots into the air after detecting two masked Palestinian protesters who were armed with firebombs, according to Channel 10.
The incident occurred near the Hizme junction north of Jerusalem.
According to Ynet, the two men hurled stones and held firebombs. It reports that the West Bank resident was taken in for questioning by police.
‘3 wounded in serious, but stable, condition’
Dr. Yigal Shushan, the director of neurosurgery at Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem in Jerusalem, says three people hospitalized in yesterday’s attack are in serious, but stable, condition.
He tells the Ynet news website that the three “were operated on until the late hours of the night, and their condition is stable.
“One of the injured regained consciousness and started talking to us. He’s still in shock, he doesn’t stop telling us what happened. It is apparent that the two terrorists’ goal was to harm the congregants’ heads,” he says.
Several other people remain hospitalized in light to moderate condition, according to Hebrew media.
Grandmother of car-ramming terrorist says she’s proud
After the IDF razes the East Jerusalem home of Abdel Rahman al-Shaludi, the Palestinian who killed two people — including three-month-old Chaya Zissel Braun — in an October car-ramming attack, the terrorist’s grandmother says no one should pity the family’s displacement.
Sitting amid the rubble inside the family’s destroyed house, al-Shaludi’s grandmother says she is proud.
“No one should feel sorry for us, for our demolished home,” she says, refusing to give her name for fear of reprisals.
— AP, Times of Israel staff
Bennett pans Shin Bet head for defending Abbas
Economy Minister Naftali Bennett sharply criticizes Shin Bet head Yoram Cohen for saying that Abbas was not responsible for inciting violence against Jewish Israelis.
“Abu Mazen [Abbas] calls for jihad in Jerusalem,” he tells Army Radio. “A few weeks ago, he said, ‘Don’t allow these contaminators, these Jews, to go up to al-Aqsa, stop them using all means.’ I don’t know what came over Yoram on this matter. I will speak to him, he’s a good guy, maybe they twisted his words.”
In a press conference on Tuesday night, Netanyahu maintained there is “no gulf” between this accusation against Abbas and Cohen’s remarks.
Bus delays continue in Jerusalem
As Arab drivers for the Egged bus company continue to strike in protest at the death of an East Jerusalem driver, delays are expected in the capital for the third day running.
The drivers have failed to show up to work since Yusuf Hassan al-Ramouni, a Palestinian Egged driver, was found hanged. An autopsy has shown the death to be a suicide, but Ramouni’s family and Palestinian media claim he was murdered by Jewish extremists.
More details emerge on injured
Four people remain hospitalized in Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem as a result of the Har Nof synagogue massacre — three worshipers and one first responder who entered the building while the attack was ongoing.
Yanky Ehrlich, the paramedic, is lightly injured and is being treated in the orthopedic ward.
Howie “Chaim” Rothman, a Canadian, whose condition is classified as “very serious,” is sedated and intubated. Eitan Moualmi is also in serious condition, though stable, and Yehuda Goldstein is in moderate condition.
All three worshipers suffered head injuries.
— Renee Ghert-Zand
Ultra-Orthodox call on public to attend policeman’s funeral
The ultra-Orthodox community has released a statement calling on the public to attend the funeral of Zidan Saif, 30, the policeman killed in yesterday’s attack, the Walla news website reports.
“We are organizing a group of Haredim to attend the funeral of the Druze policeman who died last night of his wounds,” reads the statement, which was shared on social media.
“We ask the Haredi community to come to the funeral of the policeman who died protecting our praying brothers — let’s show our gratitude, and sanctify God’s name.”
Ariella Shternbach, the organizer of the initiative, says that the costs of the buses to the funeral were covered by donors.
“I saw the picture of Saif with his small daughter, and I was moved by the thought that he sacrificed his life for the Jewish people. Haredim, who were most affected by this attack, must come and pay their last respects,” she adds.
The funeral will take place in Yanuh-Jat in northern Israel at 2 p.m.
Checkpoint erected outside Sur Baher
Israel Radio’s Gal Berger reports that a makeshift checkpoint has been set up outside the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sur Baher.
Police are selectively stopping cars for questioning, he tweets.
There are no checkpoints at Jabel Mukaber, Beit Hanina, A-Tur, or the exit from Issawiya to French Hill. However, there is an increased police presence in those neighborhoods.
Residents tell Berger that checkpoints won’t stop a terrorist, as there are numerous ways to exit the neighborhoods without being stopped. One resident says that they re only there to appease Israeli public opinion.
הכניסה לצור באהר לפני זמן קצר. בטונדות על המדרכה. ניידות מג"ב הכניסה לכפר. בג'בל מוכבר משם יצאו המחבלים-שום מחסום pic.twitter.com/5tZKonfvVF
— Gal Berger גל ברגר (@galberger) November 19, 2014
Netanyahu ordered the setting up of checkpoints at the entrance to some of the East Jerusalem Arab neighborhoods last night.
Pope calls for ‘courageous decisions’ after attack
Pope Francis releases a statement which, although alluding to the Jerusalem synagogue attack, does not specifically condemn it. The pontiff calls for renewed peace talks, and an end to the “cycle of hate and violence.
“I have followed with concern the alarming increase in tension in Jerusalem and other zones of the Holy Land and the unacceptable incidents from which even places of worship have not been spared,” he said at his weekly general audience.
“From the bottom of my heart, I appeal to the parties involved to put an end to the cycle of hate and violence and to take courageous decisions for reconciliation and peace.
“Building peace is difficult but without peace, life is torment.”
— AFP and Times of Israel staff
Jordan said to condemn synagogue attack
Jordan denounces yesterday’s attack and all violence against civilians — both Israeli and Palestinian, the Ynet news outlet reports.
A government spokesman calls for the cessation of hostilities, and the protection of sites holy to Islam and Christianity.
He says that Amman is carefully following the security situation in Jerusalem, and urges restraint and calm.
4 Palestinian teens indicted for stone-throwing
A Jerusalem court indicts four East Jerusalem teenagers for stone-throwing.
The indictment references three incidents of rock-throwing at Israelis.
In the first incident, on November 5, one of the minors was allegedly involved in throwing rocks at police in Shuafat. In the second, two of the teenagers are accused of hurling firecrackers and rocks at the light rail.
All three are indicted on charges of stone-throwing at cars near the Jerusalem neighborhood of Pisgat Ze’ev last Thursday.
Zidan Saif’s funeral begins
Planned gestures to Palestinians will be postponed — Ya’alon
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon announces that, in light of the security situation, the easing of certain restrictions for Palestinians — such as allowing them free access to certain highways in the West Bank — will not implemented until further notice.
“In past years, after the wave of terror in the decade before, checkpoints and roadblocks were set up, roads closed. Due to the improvement of the security situation since Operation Defensive Shield and until recently, there have been measures to relieve [the restrictions],” Ya’alon says, adding that “due to the escalation, these moves have been frozen.”
PM to convene security cabinet
Netanyahu will convene a security cabinet meeting at 5:30 p.m. to discuss the safety situation in Jerusalem, reports Barak Ravid, Haaretz’s diplomatic correspondent.
Thousands attend funeral of slain cop
Thousands of people arrive in Yanuh-Jat in northern Israel to pay their last respects to Zidan Saif, the Walla news website reports.
President Reuven Rivlin, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, and Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino are set to speak.
Photos from the funeral
An Israel Radio correspondent posts photos of the funeral on Twitter.
ריבלין: לא ניתן לטרור לנצח. ח"כ אלי ישי מש"ס הגיע להלווית השוטר הדרוזי רס"מ זיידאן סייף. pic.twitter.com/WdH9TsxNSO
— idan avni עידן אבני (@idanavni75) November 19, 2014
הלוויה של זידאן סייף בכפר יאנוח. נשיא המדינה ראובן רבלין הגיע. המונים גם על הגגות pic.twitter.com/e8dMFpRLaJ
— idan avni עידן אבני (@idanavni75) November 19, 2014
Religious leaders come together at massacre site
Ultra-Orthodox representatives sit alongside Muslim, Druze, Catholic, Orthodox, and Anglican leaders at the scene of the massacre earlier on Wednesday.
Druze leader calls for ‘common sense and tolerance’
In a eulogy, Druze leader Mouafiq Tarif turns to the Israeli government and urges them to restore calm to Jerusalem, and pledges that the Druze community will continue to fight on behalf of the state.
“You must do everything to lower the flames in the holy city,” he says, addressing Rivlin, Aharonovitch, and Danino — all sitting in the crowd — by name.
“Both we and you are paying a heavy price in the form of the blood of our sons. Incitement and extremism must not prevail over common sense and tolerance.
“The Druze community is going through a difficult time, tinged with sadness and pride as we lost two of our dear sons in the past two weeks who were defending the state of Israel. The entire Druze community bows its head in honor of the families of the slain in the terrible massacre in Jerusalem, and hope for safer and quieter days.”
Rivlin, who also speaks at the funeral, promises, “We will not let terror win. The terrorists have turned a house of prayer into a slaughterhouse,” he says.
The president praises the slain policeman for “not hesitating.
“He arrived first, and stood up to the terrorist without fear, and sacrificed himself to protect the citizens of Jerusalem.”
Masked assailants throw stones in East Jerusalem
Border Police confronted masked assailants who were throwing stones in the Shuafat refugee camp, using riot-dispersal measures to scatter the crowd, Ynet reports.
President promises Zidan Saif will be remembered
“What do we tell a five-month-old girl who will never know her father, that will grow up an orphan?” Rivlin asks.
“We will tell her that her father was a hero.”
Saif ‘forever engraved in our hearts,’ MK says
“We are all in tears with the family,” says Shas MK Eli Yishai, who lives in Har Nof. “We came to pay final respects to a great hero who gave his life. Rabbi Ovadiah [Yosef] wrote in a ruling that for a soldier or policeman who gave his life, we will pray for him in the synagogue.
“Your memory will forever be engraved in our hearts.”
Police chief speaks at funeral
Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino speaks at Zidan Saif’s funeral and calls Tuesday’s terror attack a “very serious incident,” which was enabled by “continued incitement” among Palestinians.
“This attack joins other events, which are all a product of incitement by radical Muslim leaders,” he says.
“Zidan entered the heart of the murderous hell, without any fear. His actions, and those of his comrades, brought the situation under control. The malicious intentions of the terrorists to extend the attack were not implemented.”
Danino adds that the violence in Jerusalem can only come to an end if incitement is curbed. He also calls for dialogue with Palestinian leaders.
More East Jerusalem homes slated for demolition
Three families in East Jerusalem are formally notified that their homes are slated for demolition.
One is the house of Mohammed Jaabis, 23, from Jabel Mukaber, who rammed an earthmover into a bus on August 4, killing an Israeli and wounding five. He was shot dead by police at the scene.
Another is that of Mu’taz Hijazi, 32, from Abu Tor who on October 29 tried to gun down a right-wing Jewish activist, critically wounding him. Hijazi was shot dead the following morning during a police raid.
The third is the home of Ibrahim al-Akary, 38, from the Shuafat refugee camp, who on November 5 rammed his car into pedestrians, killing a teenager and a policeman and wounding nine, before also being shot dead at the scene.
For those whose houses have been condemned, it becomes a waiting game until they receive the date.
After that, they have 48 hours to appeal against the order to the Supreme Court.
MK aide suspended for calling to ‘slaughter Jews’
An aide of MK Masud Ganaim (Ra’am-Ta’al) is suspended from the Knesset and his entry permit to the site is revoked, following a complaint lodged against him for allegedly calling to “slaughter Jews,” Ynet reports.
According to a Knesset security guard, the aide said that “50 Jews will be slaughtered” after Sunday’s scheduled soccer game between the Arab Israeli Bnei Sakhnin team and the rival Beitar Jerusalem club. Seven hundred police officers and over 200 attendants are set to secure the soccer match.
Ganaim, for his part, claims his aide was making a humorous comment, which was misunderstood by the guard.
Beitar fans have a strong nationalist orientation, and violent confrontations have broken out at Beitar-Sakhnin games in the past.
Beitar fans will be rigorously inspected upon entering the Doha Stadium in Sakhnin, Israel Radio reports.
Lapid says home demolitions ‘effective’
Finance Minister Yair Lapid says the demolition of terrorists’ homes is an effective means to deter further attacks.
“The terrorists must know that we will forcefully respond to their actions,” he tells Channel 2.
“We must think of new ways to deal with terror,” he adds.
Earlier in the day, Israel demolished the Silwan apartment of the family of Abdulrahman al-Shaludi, who rammed his car into a group of pedestrians last month, killing two people.
The finance minister also says Israel does not want to continue its control of the Palestinians, and adds that the government seeks a long term solution to the conflict.
Security minister honors slain police officer
Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch speaks at Zidan Saif’s funeral, and says the slain officer was a source of pride for the Druze community.
“The values that you passed on to him motivated him to defend, and he fell in the defense of the state of Israel,” the minister says. “We are partners in that fate. Together we will combat the killers who murdered Jews wrapped in prayer shawls.”
PM vows to destroy more terrorists’ homes
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel is sparing no efforts in the fight against terror, and says the demolition of terrorists’ homes is an important step towards curbing violence in Jerusalem and across the country.
“This morning, we demolished the home of a terrorist. This is a significant and important step and there will be more home demolitions,” he continues, during a visit to the new command center of the Jerusalem Municipality observation unit.
The unit operates observation balloons throughout the city and gives the municipality and the Israel Police real-time intelligence coverage of disturbances and violations of the law.
Netanyahu vows that the government will implement further security measures aimed at thwarting attacks against Israeli civilians. He adds that the Israeli leadership has no intention of marginalizing Jerusalem’s Palestinian population.
“We have nothing against the residents of eastern Jerusalem, but we will not tolerate attacks on our citizens and we will act against those who do these things and against those engaged in incitement,” he says.
“With a determined and vigorous hand, we will restore security to Jerusalem.”
78 homes approved in East Jerusalem
The Jerusalem municipality approves the construction of 78 new apartments in the predominantly Jewish East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Har Homa and Ramot, AFP reports.
Both Har Homa and Ramot are located beyond the pre-1967 Israeli border line, in areas captured by the IDF during the Six Day War.
Har Nof synagogue rabbi eulogizes Zidan Saif
Mordechai Rubin, the rabbi of the Har Nof Bnei Torah synagogue where Zidan Saif, a traffic policeman, gave his life, eulogizes him.
“We came from Jerusalem, from the place of the massacre… simply to be with you and to cry with you,” he declares.
“Zidan showed courage. He was the first at the battle. He stood like a wall, with his body, with his head, in order to save the souls of those in the synagogue,” Rubin says.
“The loss of Zidan is our loss as well as that of the Druze community and we feel, especially at times like this, a kinship with the Druze community. The devotion and the determination of Zidan should be an example to us all — to the Druze and to the Jews.”
Vandals puncture 40 cars in UK Jewish neighborhood
London police arrest a 21-year-old suspected of vandalizing cars in the Samford Hill district, an area heavily populated by Jews, Israel Radio reports.
Police believe the act, in which the tires on more than 40 cars were punctured, was motivated by anti-Semitism, according to the report.
East Jerusalem bus drivers still on strike
Palestinian bus drivers for the Egged bus company continue to strike in protest at the death of a fellow East Jerusalem driver, Yusuf Hassan al-Ramouni, who was found hanged Sunday.
An autopsy has ruled the death to be a suicide, but Ramouni’s family and Palestinian media claim he was murdered by Jewish extremists.
Delays are expected in the capital for the third day running.
Rabbi, sheikh call to end violence
Rabbi Michael Melchior, a former member of Knesset for Meimad, and Sheikh Muhammad Kiwan, chairman of the Council of Muslim Leaders in Israel, meet at the scene of Tuesday’s synagogue massacre, and call on believers of all faiths to work towards quelling violence and promoting peace.
“There will not be a religious war,” Kiwan declared.
“Any person who murders another man is far from any religious belief,” continued Kiwan.
Melchior, a former chief rabbi of Norway, calls to crack down on terror, and says religious leaders must provide an example to young believers in order to convince them to turn away from extremist views.
“We must end this bloodshed,” he says.
“But the unanimous condemnation of the attack by religious leaders of all stripes is very uplifting; it shows young individuals that there is another way.”
Kiwan contends that tensions in Jerusalem spiked as a result of “provocations in the al-Aqsa Mosque,” and says security forces must stop extremism on all sides.
“An attack at a place of worship is unacceptable,” he adds.
Earlier, ultra-Orthodox representatives sat alongside Muslim, Druze, Catholic, Orthodox, and Anglican leaders at the scene of Tuesday’s deadly attack.
Bullet from fatal shooting matches policeman’s gun
The Israel Police Forensic Department determines that a bullet fired at a Palestinian teenager during a West Bank riot in May matched the gun of a Border Policeman, according to Ynet.
The policeman was arrested last week for the fatal shooting of the Palestinian teenager on May 15 during Nakba Day disturbances.
The policeman will remain under arrest for another five days, following which he will be brought to trial.
An autopsy performed by Palestinian and Israeli pathologists in June found that one of the teens, Nadeem Siam Nawara, 17, was shot and killed in May’s Nakba Day rally in Beitunia near Ramallah by live fire.
The IDF, which maintained that only nonlethal dispersal methods were used by troops against the demonstration, declined to comment on the findings at the time.
Netanyahu speaks with father of Zidan Saif
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks with Sheikh Nuhad Saif, the father of policeman Zidan Saif who was killed in a gunfight with Palestinian terrorists during a Tuesday terror attack at a synagogue in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof.
“Your son’s brave actions prevented many more victims,” Netanyahu tells the grieving father.
“On behalf of the citizens of Israel, I wish to express our condolences over [Zidan’s] death in the line of duty.”
Netanyahu sends condolence letter to Saif’s wife
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issues a letter of condolence to Rinal Saif, the wife of policeman Zidan Saif who was killed in a gunfight with Palestinian terrorists during a Tuesday terror attack at a synagogue in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof.
“I heard and was deeply shocked by the murder of Zidan by terrorists . The people of Israel are saddened by the premature end of his life.”
“Zidan gave his life to save innocent people he did not even know. Without hesitation, he fearlessly charged at the terrorists, thereby saving innocent bystanders with his body.”
“Zidan’s death is a great loss to us all. We are commanded to cherish his memory, and to teach his legacy to future generations,” Netanyahu concludes.
Shayetet 13 commandos to join Jerusalem patrol
Navy commandos from the IDF’s elite Shayetet 13 reserve unit will join Jerusalem police to patrol the city’s neighborhood, in an attempt to thwart terror threats in the aftermath of Tuesday’s deadly attack in a synagogue at the capital’s Har Nof neighborhood, Channel 2 reports.
Molotov cocktail hurled at bus in West Bank
A Molotov cocktail is hurled at an Egged bus near the West Bank settlement of Tapuah and the Palestinian village of Hawara.
No injuries are reported, but light damage is caused to the bus.
Police are searching area for the perpetrators of the attack, and the IDF closes shops in Hawara, Walla reports.
Police say arrests in E. Jerusalem ‘effective’
A Border Patrol Commander says that in spite of Tuesday’s terror attack, riots and violence in East Jerusalem are on the decline.
“The arrests in the [Arab] neighborhoods are effective,” the commander tells Channel 2’s Ohad Hemo.
Another soldier contends that the majority of rioters are teenagers, adding that the violent demonstrations lack popular support from the Palestinian leadership in the city’s Arab neighborhoods.
Video warns ‘Zionists’ that car attacks are coming
A music video clip posted to a Palestinian news agency web page on Tuesday warns “Zionists” that they can be killed at any time in a car attack and advises they “run away” before being sent to their graves.
The video was posted to the Shehab News Agency’s Facebook page the same day as five Israelis were killed in a terror attack at a Jerusalem synagogue after two Palestinians burst in during morning prayers and attacked worshipers with a gun and blades, Haaretz reports.
In the clip, an animated depiction of a bearded man wearing a yarmulke is seen trying to to escape from an attacking car, but ultimately being hit and hurled into a nearby graveyard.
An accompanying Arabic-language song to the video has lyrics that warn “Zionist, you and no other, look right, look left, be careful” and “a car bursts forth from anywhere, picking you up to your grave.”
“An angry car is speeding toward you, run for your life, you chose [this] so take responsibility, run away because you are about to die,” the song continues.
Israel is not at war with Islam, President says
President Reuven Rivlin speaks to Channel 2 following Tuesday’s terror attack at a synagogue in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof, in which Palestinian terrorists brutally murdered four Jewish worshipers during morning prayers. A fifth victim, a Druze policeman who had been seriously wounded in a gunfight with the terrorists, succumbed to his wounds last night.
“Jerusalem has seen many hard times, there were days in which we faced more difficult times than these, and as a child I was under siege. There were days of battle and there were days of intifada and of riots,” Rivlin says.
“It has never been a religious war. Even though fundamentalism and incitement always found their way in, even when we did not allow them to do so.”
“This is not an easy battle, these are difficult times for Jerusalem in which the political conflict for the city, the national campaign, the Arab-Israeli conflict, has become a Jewish-Muslim dispute, and unfortunately both parties understand this and do nothing.”
“We have no quarrel with Islam, we did not have and will not have, and so we need to make it clear to everyone. Enough of this. Jerusalem should not and can not tolerate any religious war. Jerusalem is the united capital of Israel. Since 1967, anyone can practice his religion freely according to his own beliefs.”
The president says that over the past decades, Palestinian and Israeli life in Jerusalem has become intertwined, and both sides have no choice but to work together in order to advance peace and promote dialogue in the city. He urges Israelis to avoid taking steps that will potentially heighten tensions surrounding the Temple Mount.
“Jewish and Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem are interlaced one with the other. We have passed the point of no return. We are now in a situation where we all live together. Building and dividing Jerusalem in an artificial manner will not help.”
“Palestinians who are not Israeli citizens and Arabs who are the citizens of Israel and the Palestinian residents of Jerusalem have to realize, we are meant to live together in this city.”
The president urges Israelis to avoid taking steps that will potentially heighten tensions surrounding the Temple Mount.
“We have always realized, as Israelis and as Jews, that we are not fighting Islam and thus avoided turning the Temple Mount issue into a war of Jews against Muslims. This is the way things were, but it is currently fading.”
“It would be best if [Israeli] leaders realized that they should not raise the issue of control over the Temple Mount.”
Rivlin says Shin Bet chief was ‘misunderstood’
Shin Bet chief Yoram Cohen was not properly interpreted when he said that the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is not deliberately inciting terror, President Reuven Rivlin says.
“Cohen said that Abbas’ is not interested in waging a fundamentalist war with us,” Rivlin tells Channel 2.
“Such fundamentalism can hurt [Abbas] after he lets go of the Muslim-Jewish issue.”
Rivlin says Abbas must do more in order to combat the instances of Palestinian violence in East Jerusalem.
“Abbas, however, is being dragged, when he condemns [terror attacks], it is not something that is sufficient. ”
“[Abbas] must say to his people, as a leader, enough, there can not be a situation in which a person raises his hand against another just because he is different.”
On Tuesday, Shin Bet chief Cohen told a meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that, contrary to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks, Abbas is not interested in fanning the flames of violence against Israel.
“Abu Mazen [Abbas] is not interested in terror and is not leading towards terror,” Cohen told the MKs. “He is also not doing that under the table.”
The Shin Bet chief’s remarks came a few hours after two Palestinian terrorists attacked a synagogue in the capital, killing four worshipers and injuring six others.
Terrorists’ bodies will not be handed to families
In a first of its kind step aimed at deterring potential terrorists from carrying out future attacks against Israeli civilians, the government has decided not to hand over the bodies of the two terrorists behind Tuesday’s deadly massacre to their families, Channel 10 reports.
The Prime Minister’s Office, however, tells The Times of Israel it is unaware of the directive.
The Channel 10 report states that the government rejected a plea by the families’ attorney to receive the bodies and prepare them for burial.
A police official says the unprecedented move was ordered by Israel’s top political body, but did not elaborate, Channel 10 reports.
The official says the state may bury the terrorists on its own, effectively barring the families from holding funerals for the two.
Ashkelon Mayor bars Arabs from working in city
Ashkelon Mayor Itamar Shimoni says he instructed to indefinitely discontinue construction at building sites across the city where Arab Israelis are employed, following Tuesday’s terror attack in a synagogue in Jerusalem.
Shimoni says he approached a Home Front Command commander and requested of him to halt the construction of bomb shelters in the city, as Arab Israeli workers are employed at such sites.
“In kindergartens where construction of protected zones is carried out by Arab workers, the building will be stopped at once,” Shimoni writes on his Facebook page.
Gas station, firefighters attacked in East Jerusalem
East Jerusalemites hurl Molotov cocktails and shoot fireworks near a gas station outside the neighborhood of Issawiya, starting a small fire, Ynet reports.
Fireworks are also shot at firefighters dispatched to the scene to put out the blaze.
No injuries or serious damage is reported.
Guard fires gun during melee with Bedouins
A security guard at a pre-military academy fires his weapon during a scuffle between 60 of the academy’s students and Bedouins near Jericho. The guard says he felt threatened, according to Ynet.
No injuries or damage reported.
Labor MK denounce’s Ashkelon ban on Arab workers
MK Nachman Shai (Labor) says Ashkelon Mayor Itamar Shimoni’s order to discontinue construction at building sites where Arab Israelis are employed is illegal, and should be canceled at once.
“Relations between Jews and Arabs are now being tested, and leaders are commanded to preserve such relations, not tear them apart to the point where it may be impossible to fix them,” he says, according to Walla.
“[Shimoni’s] decision is patently unlawful,” he adds.
Tel Aviv suspected stabber reenacts fatal attack
Nur al-Din Abu Hashiyeh, the suspect in a stabbing attack at a Tel Aviv train station last Monday that killed soldier Almog Shiloni, reenacts the assault.
In Channel 10 footage, Abu Hashiyeh is seen exiting a police vehicle, handcuffed to an officer. He wears a bullet-proof vest for fear of an assassination attempt against him.
According to Channel 10, Abu Hashiyeh admits in his interrogation to stabbing Shiloni.
“Nobody sent me. I decided to kill soldiers. I looked for a soldier with a weapon,” he says.
“I did everything for Allah. With his help. For the al-Aqsa Mosque,” he concludes
Meretz MK condemns Ashkelon Arab worker ban
MK Issawi Frej (Meretz) urges Ashkelon Mayor Itamar Shimoni to overturn his decision to discontinue construction at building sites across the city where Arab Israelis are employed, calling the public figure’s orders racist.
“Shimoni’s decision to prevent Arab Israelis from working is racism at its worst form,” Frej says, according to Haaretz.
“Using a poor excuse of ‘sense of security,’ Shimoni wishes to cleanse Ashkelon of Arabs and contaminate the city with racist anti-Semitism,” Frej says.
He adds that he called on officials, including Interior Minister Gilad Erdan, ” to publicly condemn Shimoni and demand that he overturn his decision, along with all of its consequences.”
Jordanian MPs read Koran in memory of terrorists
Koran verses are read aloud by Jordanian parliament members in memory of the two terrorists who murdered 5 Israelis in a Tuesday terror attack at a Jerusalem synagogue, Israel Radio reports.
The Jordanian government, however, earlier today issued a statement in which it condemned the attack, adding that all acts of violence against civilians in Jerusalem must be denounced, according to Israel Radio.
MK Ahmad Tibi calls Ashkelon mayor ‘racist’
MK Ahmad Tibi (Ra’am Ta’al) tweets that Ashkelon mayor Itamar Shimoni is a ‘racist,’ in light of the Israeli public official’s recent decision to discontinue construction at building sites across the city where Arab Israelis are employed.
“Shouldn’t he be prosecuted for racisim?” Tibi writes.
“Remind you of something?” he adds.