A Palestinian terrorist stabbed a young border policewoman to death in the Old City of Jerusalem. ISIS and Hamas are competing for credit for the attack.
Border Policewoman Staff Sergeant Hadas Malka, 23, was stabbed and critically injured during a combined shooting and stabbing attack on Friday night at the Damascus Gate at the entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem. She died of her wounds at Shaare Zedek Medical Center.
In the first attack, two terrorists shot at a police patrol and attempted to stab the officers. The assailants were shot dead by police.
The terrorists’ gun jammed during the attack, so no Israelis were wounded in that attack.
In the second phase, a terrorist stabbed Malka as she and her patrol heard shooting and ran toward the scene of the first attack.
A spokesman for the Shin Bet (Israel’s Security Agency) named the three terrorists as Ibrahim Salah, Adel Ankoush and Osama Atta – Palestinians from the village of Deir Abu Mash’al, west of Ramallah. The Shin Bet said all three had either been arrested by Israeli security forces in the past or were known to have been involved in terrorist activities.
Fatah Condemns Shooting of Terrorist as ‘War Crime’
Fatah, the ruling party of the Palestinian Authority (PA), denounced the Israeli security forces for killing the terrorists. Spokesperson Osama al-Kawasme issued a statement, saying Fatah “condemns the war crime carried out by Israeli occupation forces in Jerusalem against three Palestinian teens.”
“The international community’s silence emboldened Israel to further spill the blood of Palestinians,” he added.
However, the Palestinians, who have claimed they are interested in restarting the peace process, have yet to condemn the terror attack.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed PA head Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party. “The Prime Minister demands that the Palestinian Authority condemn the attack and expects the international community to do so too,” his office stated.
‘Pure Incitement to Terrorism’
Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, head of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), said in an Arabic-language post to the COGAT Facebook page, that “the three thugs who carried out their cowardly terrorist act and killed the policewoman in Jerusalem received condolences from the Fatah organization, that claimed them to be innocents… as if they were executed for no reason… This is pure incitement to terrorism!”
As a result of the attack, 250,000 entry permits given to Palestinians during the Muslim month of Ramadan to visit their relatives in Israel had been revoked, he added.
“He who sows thorns shall not reap grapes,” he said. “You have ruined the atmosphere of Ramadan for the residents of Judea and Samaria.”
Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon stated that “the payments made by the Palestinian Authority to terrorists and their families encourage heinous attacks” such as these. He called on the UN Security Council to condemn this terror attack immediately.
“The Palestinian leadership continues to pledge their support for peace, while making monthly payments to terrorists and educating their children to hate. The international community must demand that the Palestinians put an end to these intolerable acts of violence,” Danon concluded.
Liberman: ‘No Partner for Peace’ on Palestinian Side
“The thundering silence that refuses to condemn terror coming from the Palestinian Authority and Fatah’s message that Israel murdered three innocent men both prove there is no partner [for peace] on the other side,” Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman stated
Nickolay Mladenov, the UN’s Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, condemned the attack. “My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims, and I wish a speedy recovery to the injured.”
“Such terrorist acts must be clearly condemned by all. I am appalled that once again some find it appropriate to justify such attacks as ‘heroic.’ They are unacceptable and seek to drag everyone into a new cycle of violence,” he said.
Malka ‘Struggled Valiantly Against the Terrorist’
In a statement on Facebook Saturday, Netanyahu said that “Hadas began her military service in the navy and then continued in the Border Police. About one year ago, she began serving as a commander in the unit. During the attack, Hadas struggled valiantly against the terrorist, but unfortunately was critically wounded.”
“Hadas loved the people of Israel and the Land of Israel, and her officers and subordinates loved her very much. In the name of all the people of Israel, I offer my condolences to her family.”
Netanyahu also suggested turning Damascus Gate, the site of frequent Palestinian terror attacks, into a “sterile zone,” prohibiting entry without a security check.
Who is Responsible for the Attack?
The Islamic State (ISIS) terror group claimed responsibility for the terror attack. The attack is the first to be claimed by ISIS in Israel, and the group declared it “will not be the last.”
“The Lions of the Caliphate carried out an attack in the city of Jerusalem,” the ISIS-affiliated Amaq news agency reported.
Previous attacks in Israel have been inspired by ISIS, however, if ISIS’ claim is verified, Friday’s attack would be the first to be actually carried out by the terror group.
Hamas denied ISIS’ claim.
“The claim by the Islamic State group is an attempt to muddy the waters,” said Hamas spokesman Sami Abou Zouhri, who said the attack had been carried out by “two Palestinians from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and a third from Hamas.”