A terror attack in Jerusalem Saturday night left two people dead and was followed hours later by a stabbing near the Old City’s Damascus Gate, leading to fears of sustained Palestinian unrest.
Israeli troops in the West Bank are carrying out raids against suspected terrorists, including those thought responsible for the murder of two Israeli parents in the West Bank Thursday night, as police and the IDF attempt to crackdown on the weekend’s wave of terror.
Low-level unrest, including rock and Molotov cocktail attacks, has persisted in the West Bank and Jerusalem, heightening already sky-high tensions.
The Times of Israel is liveblogging the day’s events as they unfold.
Jordan considers recalling ambassador
Jordanian government officials are reconsidering the country’s stance toward Israel in light of recent developments in and around the Temple Mount and may recall the Jordanian ambassador from Israel, according to a report in Al Hayat, a pan-Arabic London-based paper.
The officials say they have diplomatic and legal levers that would end Israel’s “provocative” actions in Jerusalem, according to the report.
Netanyahu says Israel will fight ‘forceful war’ on terror
Earlier this morning, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu posted a photo showing him on a plane en route to Israel, returning from the UN General Assembly in New York and from meetings with US Secretary of State John Kerry and other officials.
Netanyahu wrote in the caption that upon his arrival in Israel he will “immediately set out to the Kirya [the military HQ in Tel Aviv] to meet the security establishment’s top brass and decide on a pointed attack against Islamic Palestinian terror. We are fighting a war against terrorism and we will fight it with force.”
IDF besieging house of Hamas operative in Jenin
IDF troops are besieging the house of a wanted Hamas operative in Jenin, a northern West Bank Palestinian town.
The soldiers fired a missile at the house. It is not clear whether the fugitive was apprehended and the operation is still ongoing.
Bus pelted with rocks in southern West Bank
Palestinians hurled rocks this morning at a bus on Road 60, a Road connecting the northern and western parts of the West Bank and traversing the capital, Jerusalem.
According to the Hebrew-language website Walla the bus was pelted near Beit Umar, south of Jerusalem.
No casualties were reported in the incident.
WATCH: IDF arrests father of stabbing terror suspect
Four Palestinians were wounded at the end of an IDF operation in Jenin, and two others suffered from shortness of breath after inhaling tear gas.
According to Palestinian reports quoted by Israel Radio, the troops left the West Bank city and did not arrest the wanted Hamas fugitive whose house they had besieged, but they did arrest his brother.
The wanted operative was named as Kays a-Sa’adi.
Elsewhere, Israeli Border Police officers and soldiers arrested the father of the terrorist who stabbed a teen in Jerusalem’s Old City yesterday.
A video tweeted by an account affiliated with the Hatzolah rescue and first aid service shows the moments before the arrest in the northeastern Jerusalem Palestinian village of Isawiyah.
BREAKING VIDEO: Israeli forces gathering near the house of Jerusalem stabbing terrorist in Issawa neighborhood. pic.twitter.com/8N1TXwHgbE
— Israel News Feed (@IsraelHatzolah) October 4, 2015
Likud MK joins West Bank council head’s rally
Likud MK Nava Boker, No. 25 on the party’s list, writes on Facebook that she is heading to Jerusalem “to strengthen the residents of Judea and Samaria and Yossi Dagan, head of the council, who is outside the Prime Minister’s Residence. After the red lines were crossed, one cannot return to one’s daily routine.”
Dagan is head of the Samaria Regional Council and has been on an “open ended strike” outside the Prime Minister’s Residence since Friday, protesting what he calls the government’s failure to deal with a wave of terrorism coming out of the West Bank.
Explosive devices found in Jenin house, IDF says
In an operation by the IDF elite Duvdevan unit in Jenin, two suspects were arrested, Channel 10 reports. Earlier, Israel Radio reported that one man was arrested and that he was the wanted Hamas fugitive’s brother. The two had an M-16 type assault rifle.
The IDF found several improvised explosive devices on the premises.
See images from Jenin arrest operation
A Palestinian Twitter user and activist posts photos allegedly taken during the IDF operation in Jenin today:
— Said Shoaib | Gaza (@saidshouib) October 4, 2015
Youth stabbed in J’lem attack undergoes successful operation
The 15-year-old youth who was stabbed Saturday overnight outside the Old City in Jerusalem was successfully operated on in the capital’s Shaare Zedek Hospital.
His condition is now defined as stable.
Condition of woman stabbed on Saturday improves
Adele Bennett, the wife of Aharon Bennett who was murdered in a stabbing attack in Jerusalem on Saturday, was operated on at Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. She is currently defined as in serious but stable condition. Her condition has improved, however, since she was brought to the hospital.
Adele is breathing artificially and is comatose. Her husband Aharon was murdered in the attack.
Their son, a 2-year-old, was lightly wounded. He is hospitalized in Shaare Zedek Hospital in the city.
Haredi man murdered in stabbing attack was a soldier — IDF
Aharon Benita (or Bennett) who was murdered in a stabbing attack last night, was an IDF soldier, the military spokesperson said in a statement.
Private Benita, 21 years old from Beitar Illit, was posthumously promoted to the rank of corporal.
Benita will be buried on Mount Herzl, the IDF cemetery in Jerusalem. His funeral is scheduled to begin there at 1:30 p.m. today.
Stabbing victim describes harrowing attack
Moshe Malka, 15, who was stabbed near the Old City Saturday overnight, says he will no longer walk in the street without “something to defend myself with.”
Malka is at the Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem, where he is recuperating from a life-saving operation after he was stabbed.
“I thank God I was saved miraculously, I could have died. I will from now on carry something to defend myself with, I won’t walk in the street like this anymore. There is a general feeling that people in Jerusalem are afraid to walk in the city, exposed,” he tells the Walla news website.
“We were at the yeshiva, and then we went toward Shivtei Israel Street,” he recalls. “I saw an Arab guy, it looked like he was waiting for something to happen, and then he ran toward us with his hand in his pocket. We started running but I stumbled on the sidewalk and then he began stabbing me. I managed to make him fall with my legs. A friend of mine saw the whole thing and came with tear gas that he sprayed at him, and then he ran,” says Malka.
“My friend started screaming ‘It’s a terror attack!’ and other friends came to help, they called an ambulance and evacuated me to the hospital. I didn’t notice I was bleeding until I touched my shirt. The mayor was just here and told me they killed him, he said I am a hero. I’m happy they killed the guy who stabbed me. I was miraculously saved. If my friend hadn’t sprayed him with tear gas, he would have kept on stabbing me. I thank God I was saved,” says Malka.
Woman stabbed yesterday regains consciousness
The woman who was stabbed yesterday near the Old City, Adele Banita, regained consciousness and is breathing independently, Ynet reports. She is still in serious condition.
Rock throwing continues across West Bank
Incidences of Palestinians throwing rocks at cars continue across the West Bank, Israel Radio reports.
No casualties have been reported so far, but several cars and a bus were damaged.
Overnight, five Israelis, including one minor, were injured by rocks. Security forces are on the highest level of alert in the West Bank.
Images of empty streets in the Old City
Muslim women dispersed by police in Old City
Muslim women were forcibly dispersed by police and border police officers after disrupting the peace in Jerusalem’s Old City.
At the same time, three Israeli Jews were taken away from the Temple Mount after violating the rules for visiting the premises, police say.
Arab driver hits Jewish boy in West Bank
An Arab driver who tried to drive around a road blocked by settlers near the Shiloh junction in the West Bank hit a 9-year-old Jewish boy with his car, and lightly injured him.
A Magen David Adom ambulance was on its way to the scene.
Palestinians denounce ‘Israeli escalation’ after Old City ban
The Palestinian Authority government denounced “Israeli escalation” on Sunday after the Jewish state temporarily banned Palestinians from entering Jerusalem’s Old City following attacks that killed two people and wounded several, including a child.
“The Palestinian government denounces the Israeli escalation policy by Israeli occupation authorities against our people in occupied Jerusalem and the West Bank,” it said in a statement after the imposition of the two-day ban.
In a written communique published on the official news agency Wafa, PA government spokesman Ihab Bseiso called on the international community to intervene following “the killing of two young men in occupied Jerusalem and the series of incursions into cities and villages in the West Bank.”
The statement made no mention of the fact that the two dead Palestinians had carried out fatal stabbing attacks against Israeli civilians.
“The only solution is the end of the Israeli occupation of our occupied Palestinian land and the establishment of our independent state on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital,” Bseiso writes.
— Elhanan Miller and AFP
Hamas terrorist says he’ll fight ’till last drop of blood’
Qais Sa’adi, a member of Hamas’s militant wing Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, lambastes the Palestinian Authority, which he accuses of being behind the IDF’s failed attempt to arrest him last night in the Jenin Refugee Camp.
“Everyone is targeted by the PA,” Saadi tells Hamas media from his hiding place on Sunday. “Good willing, the PA occupation operating under the Israeli occupation will disappear.”
Sa’adi adds that “the occupation knows no other language but force,” vowing to continue fighting Israeli until his “last drop of blood.”
“Children [sic] and houses are not important. The only important thing is to remain a thorn in the side of the occupation and its collaborators in the PA.”
— Elhanan Miller
Deputy mayor joins protest tent outside PM’s home
Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Dov Kalmanovitz joins the protest tent outside the home of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“As a terror victim myself, it is important for me to strengthen the protest, call for immediate action by the government and invite other public figures to join us at the protest tent. We will not be vanquished, the People of Israel lives!” says Kalmanovitz.
He joins Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan, who launched the protest, and Likud MK Nava Boker, who arrived earlier today.
Thousands at funeral of stabbing victim
Thousands of people attend the funeral of Rabbi Nehemia Lavi, 41, in the Givat Shaul cemetery in Jerusalem.
הנשיא רובי רבלין סופד לקדוש הרב נחמיה לביא הי״ד. pic.twitter.com/DrBKKDfLex
— ישראל כהן (@Israelcohen911) October 4, 2015
President Reuven Rivlin, Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau, and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat speak at the funeral.
The president urges worshipers to continue visiting the Old City despite the violence.
“Our enemies know how to hurt us, but not how to beat us,” says Rivlin. “The fight against terror requires determination.”
“Don’t shy away from the Old City,” the president urges.
Lavi, a resident of the Old City, is survived by his wife and seven children.
Government Press Office warns BBC over headline
Head of the Government Press Office Nitzan Hen on Sunday sent a harshly worded letter to the BBC in which he threatened the network with sanctions.
Hen’s letter to Richard Palmer, the head of the BBC bureau in Israel, was sent after the network published a headline that read “Palestinian shot dead after Jerusalem attack kills two.”
The headline, which mentioned the two Israeli victims in passive voice while neglecting the causality of the Palestinian being shot after he murdered two Israelis, was widely condemned in Israel.
The BBC later amended the headline but Hen told Palmer in his letter that the BBC’s efforts were “far from satisfactory.”
Hen charges that the BBC coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is “unethical” and can incite more violence against Israelis.
According to Hebrew website NRG, officials in the GPO as well as in the office of the Israeli Embassy in London asked the network to change the headline and it was changed several times, but each time to a phrase that did not reflect the facts on the ground.
The network, which has a long history of anti-Israel bias, claimed in its defense that the headline in question was written by a junior editor and was not the result of a set agenda.
Israel expects an official apology, however, and a GPO official says the office is weighing the possibility of annulling the network’s journalists’ press cards, a decision that if implemented would not allow the network to continue operating in Israel. The GPO has other tools in its arsenal, including holding hearings for some journalists.
Yachimovich to PM: What future do you see for Israel?
Labor MK Shelly Yachimovich slams Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the deterioration of security in Jerusalem.
“It is hard to say happy holiday today. I will be very political: A right wing, really right-wing government is ruling the country,” she writes on Facebook.
Yachimovich criticizes the “bizarre call” of Yisrael Katz, who as deputy prime minister is currently serving in place of Netanyahu who is still abroad, to the opposition to “unite so that Israelis can live safely.”
Katz’s comments, Yachimovich says, “create a false and inciting image as if ‘the left’ – that demonic entity which is to blame for everything and anything – is somehow mysteriously responsible for the situation and if we only ‘unite’ everything will be alright.”
Photographs of Netanyahu “on the background of terror attacks/rockets in the south/demonstrations against the government” in which Netanyahu “gives the violent soundbite, the arrogant inciting soundbite against any government that isn’t his, are filling whole archives,” writes the Labor MK.
She explains the reason many people cannot recall those soundbites is because “he’s been prime minister for a really long time, the man with the keys. Benjamin ‘strong against Hamas’ Netanyahu,” Yachimovich writes, mocking his slogan from the elections, “has been in power for seven consecutive years.”
Yachimovich accuses Netanyahu of “scornfully rejecting” the two-state solution, adding “excuse me, but I do not buy your offhanded remark at the UN speech, not one bit.”
“Present, then, your diplomatic solution, not the left’s,” she charges.
“Where is it, your diplomatic plan? The right wing one, not the one of the left? What kind of future do you see for us? We have excellently trained security forces, an exquisite army, brave cops, but you, as a statesman, what is your vision?”
“The stage is now yours, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and has been for a long time. Show us what you can do,” she writes.
IDF disperses Palestinian riots across West Bank
Palestinians are hurling rocks at IDF troops near Bir Zeit, in the West Bank and in the el Aroub refugee camp, also in the West Bank.
Elsewhere, in Kafr Hursa in the south of Mount Hebron, Palestinians hurled rocks at Israeli vehicles.
A car sustained damage after Palestinians threw stones at it near the Tapuah junction in the West Bank.
Soldiers disperse the riots using nonlethal means in all flashpoints, but according to a report in AFP live bullets were also used by the soldiers. The French news agency says at least 77 Palestinians were wounded in clashes over the past day.
Old City not quite empty, as Tibi marches in protest
Joint List MK Ahmad Tibi marches in the Old City today after Israel took a rare step of barring Palestinians from the Old City as tensions mount following the terror attacks of the last few days.
Galloway prays for another intifada
Some things return with annoying regularity, like a rash. One of them is MP George Galloway, who tweets:
"A new intifada may have begun in Palestine. Or won't be long delayed. Whenever it comes I will support it with every breath God gives me"
— George Galloway (@georgegalloway) October 4, 2015
Rock throwing continues in West Bank, Jerusalem
Over the past hour several incidences of rock throwing took place in the West Bank and Jerusalem.
In Hebron Palestinians hurled rocks at a police checkpoint. On the road between the West Bank town of Ariel and the Tapuah junction Palestinians hurled rocks at cars; several vehicles sustained damage.
On Road 60, near el Hader in the West Bank, Palestinians are hurling rocks and near Shiloh, a car’s windshield was damaged when it was hit by a rock.
IDF and Border Police officers used riot dispersal means in all instances. According to the Hebrew-language website Walla, there were no casualties in any of the incidents.
In the village of Issawiyah in northeastern Jerusalem, riots are continuing. Police and Border Police officers are at the scene.
Druze MK says ‘those who tear up Oslo Accords should return to Tunis’
Likud MK and deputy minister Ayoub Kara says that those who came to Israel following the Oslo Accords and are now announcing these agreements are no longer in power, should return to Tunis.
The MK’s comments come in response to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s speech at the UN last week, where the Palestinian leader said the PA is no longer bound by agreements since, he claimed, Israel violated them too.
The MK is referring to the Tunisian capital, where the top leadership of the Palestinian Authority were located before moving to Ramallah after the Oslo Accords.
Kara speaks at a ceremony to dedicate a Torah scroll named after Zidan Saif, a police officer who died from bullet wounds he sustained during a gunfight with terrorists who massacred four Israeli Jews in a synagogue in the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem, last year. Saif was the fifth victim of the attack.
Kara, a member of the Druze community like Saif, has lost two of his brothers in Israel’s wars. He says Saif in his behavior validated the “blood alliance” the Druze people have with Israel and adds that they do not have nor do they want a state beside Israel. “We will not be deterred from fighting terrorism to the last of our sons,” says Kara.
First Lady Nechama Rivlin visits terror victims in hospital
First Lady Nechama Rivlin this morning visited wounded terror victims of last night’s terror attacks in Jerusalem, who were being treated at the city’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center.
Rivlin was received by the director of the hospital’s intensive care unit, Dr. Sarit Shachrur Karni, who updated the president’s wife on the well-being of the small child who was injured in the attack. Rivlin visited the child, and met with family members gathered in the hospital.
“I brought some chocolate and balloons, to offer some cheer. Soon the pain will go down, and you will feel stronger, I can see that you are a true hero.” To the family, she said, “I can see that you are surrounding him with love, and I am sure he will recover quickly.”
The family thanked Rivlin warmly, and joined her in thanking the medical team at the hospital.
Rivlin went on to visit 15-year-old Moshe Malka, who was stabbed early this morning in an attack in Jerusalem. His mother, Orly Malka, explained to the president’s wife that her son and his friend were on their way to morning prayers at the Western Wall when they were attacked by a terrorist.
Right, left MKs, activists protest outside PM’s residence
Prime Minister Netanyahu wished for a unity government several months ago. What he never wished for is to be greeted upon landing in Israel by protesters from both his Likud party and the left, calling for his resignation.
Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan has been outside the Prime Minister’s Residence since Friday, and today was joined by Nava Boker, a Likud MK.
On Sunday afternoon, Uri Keidar, chairman of the Labor party’s youth movement, as well as MKs Erel Margalit and Nachman Shai, came to protest.
The Labor lawmakers demand that Netanyahu claim responsibility for the security deterioration of the last month and resign.
Keidar says: “The right explains to us why nothing works and nothing is their fault. A right wing government and what do we hear from them? Excuses. A long term solution should be found and if they can’t find it they should return the keys and go home.”
Meanwhile rabbis and council members from West Bank communities call on residents of the West Bank to hold a custom of the Jewish holiday not in their communities but rather around Prime Minister’s Residence.
At the end of the Sukkot holiday, Jews traditionally walk in a circle with the Torah scroll, celebrating the receiving by the people of Israel of the scripture. The custom is held twice, once on Sunday evening, once on Monday.
Instead of walking the circle in the synagogue where they live, West Bank leaders called on people to flock to the capital, and walk around the Prime Minister’s Residence.
Netanyahu has just recently landed from New York and should arrive at his official dwelling this evening.
Fatah officials: No organizing hand behind ‘lone wolf’ attacks
Senior Fatah officials say there is no organizing hand behind the violent incidents of the past few days and that the attacks are lone wolf attacks by individuals responding to “Israeli aggression,” according to Haaretz.
According to the officials, the Palestinian Authority is in “waiting mode” since the return to Ramallah of President Mahmoud Abbas, who has not called for the Palestinian leadership to convene or issued any condemnation of the Palestinian violence.
“In Israel they are alarmed as if the murder of the couple on Thursday evening and the stabbings yesterday came out of nowhere,” a Palestinian official tells Haaretz. “In Israel they ignore the settlers’ aggressions against Palestinians and in the West Bank, often under the watchful eyes of cops and soldiers. Israel must make a decision to stop the settlers’ wanton aggressions, otherwise any security or diplomatic effort by the PA is irrelevant.”
Another Fatah official remarks that most incidents occur in areas which are under full Israeli control and in which the PA has no control.