A Palestinian terrorist stabbed a security guard in the chest, seriously wounding him, at the entrance to the Jerusalem Central Bus Station on Sunday, before being tackled by police and a passerby, officials said,
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 further questioning.
Medics from the Magen David Adom ambulance service said they tried to stop the bleeding and applied bandages during the five-minute ambulance ride to the hospital.
The victim, 46, 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 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 he was unconscious and connected to a respirator.
Minister of Public Security and Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan blamed the Palestinian Authority for inciting terror attacks.
“This afternoon’s terror attack in Jerusalem is a direct result of the ongoing incitement to terror by the PA and Fatah, which is working with Hamas to instigate violence,” Erdan said.
“Abu Mazen continues to demonstrate that he is not a true partner for peace, and now that he has established a unity government with Hamas , he is responsible for Hamas’ murderous incitement as well. I am praying for the quick recovery of the security guard who was wounded in the attack,” he said referring to Abbas by his nickname.
According to the Shin Bet security service, the suspected terrorist is a 24-year-old Palestinian from the northern West Bank, near the city of Nablus.
He was later identified by Palestinian media as Yasin Abu al-Qar’a.
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.
After he was subdued, the suspect was stripped to ensure he did not have a suicide vest or other weapon hidden under his clothes. Officers at the scene recovered the knife that was used in the attack.
The area around the bus station was closed off following the attack, but was later reopened to traffic.
Jerusalem Police Commissioner Yoram Halevi praised the officers and civilians who captured al-Qar’a. “Their quick reaction led the arrest of the terrorist in a matter of seconds, and preventing further attacks on innocent people,” he said.
The stabbing comes amid heightened tensions in the region, after Palestinian groups called for mass demonstrations and a violent uprising in response to US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
In light of the unrest and potential for violence, additional police officers have been deployed throughout the city of Jerusalem.