Just two days after an Israeli hiker was shot dead in the West Bank, an Israeli border policeman was critically injured yesterday after being stabbed at the entrance to Jerusalem’s Old City.
Yesterday morning’s attack happened at the Damascus Gate of the Old City, when an 18-year-old Palestinian stabbed a border policeman, who was able to shoot his attacker. Both were critically injured. The Damascus Gate is a very busy entry point to the Old City, especially for Muslim worshippers visiting the al-Aqsa Mosque, with Israel having eased access for West Bank Palestinians during Ramadan.
Police said that the attack was the work of a “lone wolf” with no specific affiliation to any group. Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat praised the injured officer, saying, “I want to commend the action of the border policeman, who, while injured, kept his cool and shot and neutralized the terrorist, thus saving lives and preventing further injuries.”
Yesterday’s attack followed the deadly shooting on Friday of two Israeli hikers in the West Bank, near the settlement of Dolev. The two men had been visiting a nearby spring and were flagged down by a Palestinian at a junction, who pulled out a pistol and opened fire from close range. One of the men, 25-year-old Danny Gonen from Lod in central Israel, was killed in the attack. The Palestinian Ma’an news agency said a Hamas-affiliated group had taken responsibility for the attack.
Israel’s Prime Minister sent his condolences to Gonen’s family and commented, “There are continuous attempts to hurt us and we will continue to fight against such attempts with all the means at our disposal.” President Reuven Rivlin said, “We will not accept a situation in which a young hiker has his life taken from him in the land of Israel because he is Jewish.” Meanwhile, Middle East Minister Tobias Ellwood also denounced the attack, saying, “I condemn the shooting of two Israelis in the West Bank … Those responsible must be brought to justice.”