A Palestinian who stabbed a security guard in the chest, seriously wounding him, at the entrance to the Jerusalem Central Bus Station on Sunday carried out the attack out of anger about the fate of Jerusalem, his Facebook posts show.
The terrorist comes from a family closely affiliated with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party, and two of his brothers serve in the PA’s security forces, Hadashot news reported.
Doctors were fighting to save the victim’s life throughout Sunday afternoon and evening.
As of Sunday evening, Israeli security forces had not named the terrorist, who was tackled and arrested by police. However, Palestinian media identified him as 24-year-old Yasin Abu al-Qar’a from Talluza, near Nablus.
“In your path, O homeland, O Jerusalem, O Al Aqsa, our blood is cheap,” he wrote in his final Facebook post, some 16 hours before carrying out the terror attack.
The post started with a well-known chant used by Palestinians protesting events in Jerusalem.
“For the sake of Allah we have risen, our demand is to raise the flag, so our religion may once again be sublime, and the Al-Aqsa Mosque will again be glorious,” he wrote, referring to the Al Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
On Wednesday night, soon after United States President Donald Trump announced he would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Qar’a wrote on his Facebook a cryptic poem about the glory and resurrection of Jerusalem.
This post was accompanied by a picture of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
The stabbing came amid heightened tensions in the region, after Palestinian groups called for mass demonstrations and a violent uprising in response to Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Trump said in his speech on Wednesday that the boundaries of Jerusalem would still be part of a negotiated settlement, and called for no change to the status quo at the city’s holy sites.
Hamas on Thursday called for a new intifada against Israel, on Friday urged Palestinians to confront soldiers and settlers, and has allowed thousands of Gazans to confront Israeli troops at the Gaza border fence in recent days. Its leader Ismail Haniyeh on Friday praised the “blessed intifada,” urged the liberation of Jerusalem, and made plain the group was seeking to intensify violence against Israel.
Posts from Qar’a’s Facebook, however, showed he was a supporter of Abbas’s Fatah party.
Graphic video footage from the scene showed the terrorist slowly handing his belongings to the security guard, who was checking travelers at the door to the station, before suddenly taking out a knife and plunging it into the guard’s chest.
The terrorist then tried to flee the scene, but a police officer and civilians chased after him and tackled him to the ground. Police denied media reports that the terrorist had been shot or killed. He was taken into custody for questioning.
Medics from the Magen David Adom ambulance service said they tried to stop the guard’s bleeding and applied bandages during the five-minute ambulance ride to the hospital.
The victim, who was approximately 35 years old, 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 the 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 the man was unconscious and connected to a respirator.
The 24-year-old Palestinian had a permit allowing him to work in the so-called “seam region,” surrounding the West Bank, but not inside Israel proper, the Shin Bet said.
He had no known terrorist ties, the security service added.
Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.