As the Israeli government continues to find itself flummoxed over precisely how to exert its authority over the rampant Arab violence that has left Jerusalem residents on edge, it has been reported that yet more attacks have taken place since the conclusion of the Simchat Torah holiday.
On Wednesday, it was reported that an Arab terrorist had injured at least one person in a knife attack on passersby outside Petah Tikvah's central mall close to Beilinson Hospital, in a day filled with multiple stabbing attacks.
According to an INN report, the attacker reportedly drew his knife and ran towards a crowd of civilians, and succeeded in stabbing at least one of them before security guards opened fire in his direction, and succeeded in overpowering him.
On early Wednesday afternoon, INN also reported an Arab terrorist stabbed an IDF soldier and tried to steal his gun in Kiryat Gat, located east of Ashkelon on the coastal plains.
The report indicated that the incident took place on Lakhish Road, and in the attack the soldier was moderately injured, with stab wounds to his upper body.
According to investigators, the Arab terrorist arrived in Kiryat Gat on a bus, spotted the soldier and stole his weapon. The soldier fought to regain his gun, at which point he was stabbed in his head. The terrorist then darted into a residential building.
Police from Kiryat Gat station reached the scene within minutes, and rushed into the building. The terrorist then opened fire on them, to which they responded with precise fire, eliminating him. None of the police forces were wounded.
Aside from the IDF soldier, Magen David Adom (MDA) crews treated another IDF soldier who was lightly wounded in the incident as well.
"When we arrived, there was a commotion, which led us to a young man of about 20 who suffered bruised limbs; he was fully conscious. We treated him at the scene and transferred him to Barzilai hospital, where he is in light condition," MDA medic Henry Zarzur stated. "We also treated the bus driver, a man in his thirties who had inhaled pepper spray during the incident; he was also transferred to Barlizai and is in light condition. We also dealt with two patients suffering from shock in their twenties."
"A man as young as 20 arrived to the MDA station in Kiryat Gat, suffering stab wounds in his upper body," senior MDA medic Tzafrir Yosef added. "He said he had been injured during a confrontation with the terrorist, we gave him emergency treatment and then evacuated him to hospital when he was conscious, stable, and listed in moderate condition."
Video surfaced on the internet showing the police forces at the entrance to the building, at which point a resident filming it all shouts to them "he entered that building guys," and the officers storm the building.
Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) responded to the stabbing attack, praising the police for their alacrity in eliminating the terrorist.
"I praise the quick action of the police force that was in Kiryat Gat; they went into the building and eliminated the terrorist immediately, preventing a great tragedy," stated Erdan.
"The force acted exactly as expected of it. We will continue to fight terror firmly, and we will harm all those seeking to harm us."
The Arab terrorist was identified as Amjad Hatam, a resident of the Arab town of Yatta located in the southern Har Hevron region in the south of Judea, reports Channel 2. It is unclear if he entered sovereign Israeli territory legally or illegally.
Just several hours earlier on Wednesday, a female Arab terrorist stabbed a 36-year-old man in the back at the Lion's Gate on the eastern side of Jerusalem's Old City.
The victim was moderately wounded, but managed to shoot the terrorist and critically wound her.
Earlier on Wednesday, 38-year-old Ribi Lev-Ohayon of Tekoa in the Gush Etzion region of Judea just south of Jerusalem managed to escape an Arab lynch mob not far from her town. The Arab assailants rushed her car, hurling rocks and pulling her door open to kick and beat her, inflicting light wounds before she succeeded in closing the door and driving off.
Josh Hasten, a resident of Elazar in the Gush Etzion area of Judea and freelance journalist, was just a few cars behind Lev-Ohayon and told Arutz Sheva about how a mob of Arabs rushed his car as well, noting that if he hadn't fired a warning shot in the air they would have murdered him with cinder blocks and rocks.
In the matter of a week, four Israelis were murdered by Arab terrorists in Jerusalem and the surrounding areas. Last Thursday, Rabbi Eitam Henkin and his wife, Rabbanit Naama Henkin were gunned down by Palestinian attackers as they were driving.
Their four young sons, including a four-month-old infant, were in the backseat of the car during the shooting but were unharmed.
Eitam Henkin was the son of Rabbi Yehuda and Chana Henkin, who moved to Israel from the United States in the 1970s. Chana runs the Nishmat institute, a Jewish learning institution that was one of the first to teach women Talmud and Jewish law. Rabbi Henkin, a noted Torah scholar and author of several volumes of responsa, also serves as the school’s Jewish law authority, according to a Times of Israel report.
Arutz Sheva reported that Naama Henkin was the daughter of a former member of the elite Sayeret Matkal unit. Her father reportedly took part in the failed 1994 rescue attempt of IDF soldier Nachshon Wachsman from a Palestinian village north of Jerusalem. Wachsman was killed by his Hamas kidnappers as the Israel Defense Forces sought to free him; one of the rescue team was also killed.
Towards the end of the Sabbath other stabbings of Jews took place close to the Lion’s Gate in the Old City.
The two Israelis killed were Rabbi Nehemia Lavi, 41, a resident of the Old City, as well as 21-year-old Aharon Benitah Bennett who lived in a settlement in Judea and Samaria.
The BBC reported that the Palestinian terrorist - named as Mohammad Halabi, a 19-year-old law student from a village near Ramallah, brutally attacked Bennett, his wife, their two-year-old son and baby daughter who were on their way to pray at the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City, according to a statement issued by Israel’s foreign ministry.
Rabbi Lavi, a reserve officer in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), and father of seven children was killed as he tried to defend the family, the ministry said.
Bennett's wife was seriously wounded, while their son suffered minor injuries and their baby was unharmed, it added.
Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said the Palestinian terrorist had taken a gun from Rabbi Lavi and opened fire at police and tourists. He was then shot and killed by an Israeli police officer who had rushed to the scene.
The terrorist group Islamic Jihad issued a statement claiming him as one of its members, according to the BBC.
Last Sunday, 15-year old Moshe Malka was stabbed at a gas station near the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City.
The teen, who was stabbed in his upper body, was treated at the scene by United Hatzalah paramedics, and is listed in moderate-to-serious condition.
The terrorist was reportedly shot by security forces. Nahum Bernstein of United Hatzalah said, "When I arrived at the scene I came across a young man who was stabbed for apparent nationalistic reasons. The attacker who fled the scene was shot dead by security forces.”
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged the Israeli public to be resilient in the face of the ongoing terror attacks.
"We're still in the midst of a wave of terror," Netanyahu said, according to an INN report. "We're acting firmly against terrorists, against lawbreakers and against incitement. We increased our security forces and we are giving them all the means and methods necessary to fight this terrorism."
"The citizens are at the forefront of the war on terror and the most vigilance is demanded from them, too," he continued. "I want to commend the poise and courage the citizens of Israel have shown in recent days and on this day, in Jerusalem and Kiryat Gat."
"The goal of terrorism is to spread fear, and the first order to defeat terrorism is to display composure and personal resilience and confidence," he added. "We already know that these are difficult times, and we will overcome this wave of terror with determination, responsibility and unity."
Netanyahu consulted with Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, Deputy Police Commissioner Benzi Sau, Jerusalem District Commander Moshe Edri, and chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Security Committee, MK Tzachi Hanegbi at the meeting.