The day after a Palestinian terrorist killed two people in the capital, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday called on citizens to remain alert, warning that the current High Holiday season is a time during which terrorists are more motivated to carry out attacks.
Speaking at a small ceremony at the Prime Minister’s Office ahead of the upcoming fast of Yom Kippur and Sukkot festival, Netanyahu also sent condolences to the families of the victims of the shooting attack.
“We know that this is a time when those who fan the flames of terrorism and the inciters try to ignite a conflagration,” he said. “All citizens must be alert, certainly the security forces, who work day and night to protect us and who serve as a buffer and a wall between these murderers and the citizens of Israel.”
Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, begins at nightfall on Tuesday and the week-long Sukkot holiday starts next Sunday night. During the course of Sukkot, tens of thousands of visitors are expected to come to Jerusalem and its Old City.
On Sunday, a terrorist opened fire on passersby and people waiting at a light rail stop near Ammunition Hill in the north of Jerusalem. Levana Malihi, 60, a retired Knesset employee, and police officer First Sergeant Yosef Kirma, 29, were killed in the attack and six other injured. The shooter was killed by police.
“Yesterday was a sad day in Jerusalem. I would like to send condolences to the family of our friend, Levana Malihi. I think that whoever who was in the Knesset remembers her radiant smile, and we cry together with her family, and with the family of the heroic policeman, Yossi Kirma, who chased after the terrorist and lost his life in the pursuit, which, without a doubt, saved many lives.”
Malihi, a grandmother, worked in the Knesset for more than 30 years until her retirement in 2010, the parliament’s spokesman said in a statement. “Veteran workers remember a very warm woman, loved by all, dedicated, caring and modest,” the statement said.
The recently married Kirma, a member of the elite police reconnaissance unit Yasam, who was decorated after helping to stop a terror attack in December 2015, was killed in the shootout while trying to charge the gunman, police said. “He fearlessly pursued the terrorist in order to neutralize him and prevent further harm to innocent bystanders,” the police statement said.