December 17, 2018
Two Murdered In Terror Attack North Of Jerusalem Identified As IDF Soldiers
In a devastating terrorist attack on Thursday (13th), two IDF soldiers, identified as Sgt. Yosef Cohen and Staff Sgt. Yoval Mor Yosef, were killed and two others were seriously wounded, just north of Jerusalem.
The shots were fired by a Palestinian who got out of his car and started shooting. He then fled the scene and his car was located by security forces near Ramallah. The IDF is currently in pursuit of the suspect.
Givat Asaf, the site of the attack, is a main junction a little over a mile south of the Jewish settlement of Ofra, scene of a similar drive-by shooting on Sunday (9th) in which seven people were wounded.
The dead and wounded were soldiers in their 20s. The two wounded – a male and a female – were evacuated to Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center and Hadassah University Hospital.
The IDF imposed a closure on the Palestinian city of Ramallah after the attack and sent reinforcements to the area, IDF Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis said in a phone call with reporters.
“A car stopped at a hitchhiking spot and at least one suspect got out and fired shots towards both civilians and soldiers,” Manelis said adding that the suspect got back into the car before he fled the scene.
11 people have been killed in 2018 in seven deadly terror attacks in the West Bank, including the shooting attack that occurred Thursday (13th).
The junction where the attack took place is regularly patrolled by the IDF which has large forces deployed nearby. Route 60 is the main highway that crosses the West Bank from Jerusalem all the way to Nablus in northern Samaria.
The attack took place just hours after the IDF located and killed Ashraf Suleiman Na’alwa, the terrorist behind the attack on the Barkan Industrial Park two months ago.
According to the Shin Bet, Na’alwa had been armed when forces arrived to the scene and was planning to carry out a second terror attack, “which was prevented with the thwarting of the assailant.”
Na’alwa was killed just hours after a Palestinian suspected of carrying out the shooting attack outside the West Bank settlement of Ofra on Sunday (9th) was killed by security forces north of Ramallah in the village of Surda. He was identified by local media as Saleh Omar Barghouti, the son of senior Hamas member Omar Barghouti from the town of Kobar.
(jpost.com; israelhayom.com; ynetnews.com)
Fatah Praises Terrorists Eliminated On Wednesday Night
The Fatah movement, the main organization of the PLO, headed by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, praised the murderers that the IDF eliminated on Wednesday night (12th).
The Twitter account of the movement published Thursday morning (13th), showed pictures of the two terrorists who were killed with the inscription “the heroic martyrs.”
“The heroic fallen of the homeland, in their pure blood, they are sketching the map of our homeland. For a free and Arab Palestine. Honor and glory to you,” was added.
It should be noted that, on the same Twitter account, a number of tweets appeared expressing clear support for the terrorist who carried out the murderous shooting attack at Givat Assaf junction, Thursday morning (13th), killing two soldiers and wounding two others.
Hamas Spokesman Praises ‘Heroic’ West Bank Terror Attack
A Hamas spokesman praised a terror attack in the central West Bank on Thursday (13th), calling it “heroic” but stopped shot of claiming responsibility.
“The heroic Silwad operation is a response to Zionist crimes and behavior in the occupied West Bank,” Abdelatif al-Qanou, a spokesman for the terror group, wrote on Twitter, referring to a Palestinian village near Ofra. “The West Bank’s youth and men will remain rebels against the occupation and continue to clash with it until it is banished,” he added.
Hamas officials have frequently encouraged and praised shooting, stabbing and ramming attacks in the West Bank and Israel.
Both the US and Israel considers Hamas a terrorist group.
Earlier on Thursday (13th). The Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing, appeared to take responsibility for two other shooting attacks – one earlier this week outside Ofra and another in the Barkan Industrial Zone in the northern West Bank, two months ago.
“From the heroic Barkan operation to the Ofra operation, the Qassam Brigades are undertaking a new battle,” the Qassam Brigades said in a statement.
Seven people were wounded in the drive-by shooting attack on a bus stop outside Ofra on Sunday night (9th). In October two were killed in the shooting attack at the Barkan Industrial Zone.
Two Border Guards Wounded In Old City Stabbing Attack
Two Border Guard Police officers were stabbed and lightly wounded in a terror attack before dawn Thursday (13th) in the Old City of Jerusalem, before shooting dead their assailant, police and medics said.
The male officer was stabbed in the face, near his eye. The female border guard was stabbed in the legs. The attacker, a 26-year-old Palestinian from the West Bank, was shot dead by the officers.
Surveillance footage from the scene, released by police, shows the assailant running up to the officers and rapidly stabbing them with the knife. Prior to the attack, the assailant was also seen on camera pushing an ultra-Orthodox man to the ground at an alleyway in the Old City.
The weapon was recovered at the scene.
“The terrorist came from the direction of the Damascus Gate, took out a knife, attacked a Jewish man on Hagai Street and tried to stab him, when he failed to do so, he continued running toward a team of Border Guards, stabbing a male and female officer,” police said.
“During a fight with the terrorist, the border guards succeeded in neutralizing him by shooting him,” police said in a statement.
The female officer was taken to Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem for treatment, and the male officer was taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center, both for medical treatment of stab wounds.
‘Our Red Line Is Our Survival’
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday (12th) that Israel would be prepared to attack inside Iran if the Jewish state’s survival was at stake.
“Our red line is our survival,” Netanyahu said at a meeting with foreign media where he was asked what his “red line” was tor attacking Iranian territory, rather than its proxies in Syria and Lebanon.
“We do what is necessary to protect the State of Israel against the Iranian regime that openly calls for the annihilation of the Jewish state,” Netanyahu said.
“I’m not ruling out doing anything that we need to do to defend ourselves,” added Netanyahu, who sees Iran as the most dangerous threat to Israel.
He said that Israel is the only country whose military is “directly engaging Iranian forces” with air strikes in neighboring Syria, where Iran supports the forces of President Bashar al-Assad.
Netanyahu said Wednesday (12th) that Iran’s aggressive regional behavior, in contrast to Israel’s fight against radical Islamic militants and its advanced technology, had brought once-hostile Arab states closer to the Jewish state.
“The Arab countries understand exactly that Israel is not their enemy, but their indispensable partner” against extremists, he said, speaking of a “new relationship between Israel and the Arab world.”