A Palestinian attacker armed with a knife stabbed two Israelis in Jerusalem and killed one before being shot and killed by police. The attack reportedly occurred in al-Maalot, a Palestinian neighborhood in the West Bank, but it remains unclear whether the Palestinian attacker planned the attack in advance or was acting alone. The victim of the attack was a 22-year-old man from Jerusalem, Yediot Ahronot reports.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the attacker, identified as 18-year-old Muhammad Nour from al-Maalot, was “crazed and murderous.” He called the attack a “barbaric act” and a “surprise.” Israel’s military said it would deploy troops to the area and the West Bank was put on a high state of alert. The Jerusalem Mayor, Nir Barkat, went further and blamed Palestinian incitement for the attack.
Palestinian groups blamed the attack on Israel, claiming that Palestinians in al-Maalot were being unfairly targeted by Israeli forces. “This is in response to the ugly campaign against the al-Maalot community,” Yasser Abed Rabbo, the deputy head of Hamas’ political bureau, told Hamas media.
Sana al-Qassam, a Hamas spokesman, blamed “thousands of Israeli settlers and their spokesmen” for “alarming the youth in the al-Maalot community,” Israel Hayom reports. He also criticized the Israeli government’s “anemic response.” The Jewish Home Party, a group that supports the annexation of east Jerusalem, criticized Israel for not offering al-Maalot residents the same kind of protection given to settlers living in the West Bank.
Israel’s intelligence minister, Israel Katz, said that the Palestinian community in al-Maalot was guilty of “demonstrating blatant anti-Semitism” by refusing to upgrade their schools from “bungalow” structures to state-of-the-art structures, offering lectures to students dressed in school uniforms and bussing them to Jerusalem daily.