Three people were murdered and dozens were wounded in five terror attacks in Jerusalem, Ra’anana and Kiryat Ata on Tuesday. One of the victims was idenified as Rabbi Yeshayahu Krishevsky, 60.
Hamas praised the attacks, saying they are “a message to anyone who harms our holy places. We call to continue the intifada, which is the natural response to the world’s silence.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will convene his Security Cabinet at midday to decide on further steps to take in light of the ongoing terror attacks.
In Kiryat Ata, a northern city near Haifa, a terrorist stabbed at least one person outside IKEA. The attacker has been subdued, while the victim’s was moderately wounded. Both stabber and victim are Jewish, but it remains unclear whether the stabbing was a nationalistic incident or a criminal one. Police were investigating the suspicion that the attacker wanted to stab an Arab, but mistook the nationality of his victim.
Simultaneous attacks in Jerusalem
Three were murdered and 17 others wounded in two simultaneous morning attacks in Jerusalem’s East Talpiot and Geula neighborhoods.
Two terrorists – Baha Aliyan, 22, and Bilal Ranem, 23, both from Jabel Mukaber – boarded an Egged bus on Olei HaGardom Street in East Talpiot, a neighborhood also known as Armon HaNetziv, one armed with a gun and the other with a knife.
They started shooting and stabbing passengers while the bus kept moving, killing a man in his 60s and wounding ten others. One of the wounded, a man in his 40s, was evacuated in critical condition and was declared dead at the hospital.
Two others were seriously wounded – women aged around 60 and 40, who suffered stab wounds to their upper body. Two others were in moderate condition: A woman about 60 years old with gunshot wounds to her upper body and a man in his 30s. Three were lightly wounded, and two were suffering from shock.
A security guard at the scene was able to overpower one of them and shoot him. The terrorist then tried to get up and resume his attack, but the security guard shot him again.
The second terrorist locked the bus’ doors in an attempt to stop security forces from boarding, as well as stopping passengers from fleeing. Policemen opened fire at him from outside the bus.
Aliyan was killed, while Ranem was wounded and neutralized.
Eye-witnesses said one of the terrorists took over the driver’s seat in an attempt to kidnap the bus. Golan Cohen-Gabai, one of the eye-witnesses, said he used his car to block off the bus and stop the terrorist from taking it.
“Then he opened the doors and wanted to come at me with a knife. I closed the windows, so he ran back and returned with a gun…. I held him here for two minutes and then police forces arrived,” he said.
Rubi Mahatbi, 18, was lightly wounded in the attack. “I took bus 78 to the city center. The two terrorists sat there and didn’t look suspicious to me, but as soon as the bus started moving, the terrorist drew out a gun, yelled ‘Allahu Akbar,’ and shot a person as he came in my direction. I hid near the door and tried to escape. He drew a knife and started stabbing a military man. The second terrorist grabbed me and tried to attack me, but I hit him and was able to escape,” he said.
“That moment, you feel fear and stress and you don’t know what to do. I preferred running away rather than confronting him. I have bruises on my neck from his attempts to choke me. At that moment, all I was thinking about was I was either going to survive this or I die,” he added.
An MDA paramedic who arrived at the scene of the attack described it as chaotic, saying gunfire was heard as rescue teams arrived.
On Malkhei Yisrael Street in Geula, a terrorist drove a car into a bus stop, hitting two pedestrians – one of which, 60-year-old Rabbi Yeshayahu Krishevsky, was killed and the other seriously wounded. The terrorist then left the vehicle and started repeatedly stabbing the two victims. A security guard who was nearby arrived at the scene of the attack and shot the terrorist, critically wounding him.
Magen David Adom said it provided treatment to eight people: One in moderate-to-serious condition with injuries to his upper body and limbs, one in moderate condition, one lightly wounded with bruises to his face, and five suffering from shock.
Moshe Shmueli was lightly wounded in the attack. “We can see what’s happening in the country. It’s an act from heaven that comes to awaken the people of Israel,” he said.
“I wanted to take bus 59 and was waiting at the bus stop when all of a sudden a vehicle appeared and rammed into the bus stop with great force,” Shmueli recounted. “I was sitting inside the bus stop while outside was an older man. It could’ve been a lot worse. I was near the terrorist who got out of the car – a giant man with hatred – and started hitting me and I immediately realized it wasn’t an accident, but a terror attack. I left everything and ran. All of a sudden I heard gunfire and people telling me to run. I went into a house and the good people there treated me.”
“We have to stop this entire situation,” Shmueli added. “We can’t put a policeman to protect each civilian, only the Torah can protect us.”
The terrorist, identified as Alaa Abu Jamal, a resident of Jabel Mukaber in East Jerusalem who has Israeli citizenship, was an employee of Israeli phone company Bezeq, and was using a company car to commit the attack.
A statement issued by Bezeq said: “We just learned that a Bezeq employee was responsible for the terror attack in Jerusalem this morning on Malkhei Yisrael Street. At this point we do not have all of the details, but it is clear this is a serious incident.
“Bezeq, and all of its employees, scorns this heinous crime. Our hearts are with the victims and their families.”