Yesterday morning, Sunday, Palestinian terrorist Misbah Abu Sbeih opened fire at a light rail station and at an intersection near Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem. Before he was killed by Israeli police in a shootout on the street, Sbeih murdered two people and injured five more.
Sixty-year-old grandmother, Levana Malihi, and thirty-year-old police officer Yossi Kirma were evacuated in critical condition to Jerusalem's Hadassah Medical Center at Mount Scopus. At hospital, both were pronounced dead. Police officer Kirma was among those who chased the terrorist following the attack.
Three other victims were evacuated to hospital in moderate condition. Two others were lightly wounded and four were treated for panic attacks.
Ma'an News Agency named the terrorist as Misbah Abu Sbeih, a 39-year-old resident of the Silwan neighborhood of eastern Jerusalem. He was shot dead by security forces in a gun battle.
According to initial reports, Sbeih stopped his vehicle near the light rail station and began shooting from inside the car. He then continued driving and shot a woman sitting in her car near the Charles Simon Clermont-Ganneau intersection, critically wounding her.
Sbeih then drove toward the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, stopped his car, got out and began shooting at Israel Police Special Patrol Unit officers who had been following him on motorcycles. One police officer was killed in the ensuing shoot-out, and a second police officer was lightly wounded.
A nearby Border Police officer who had received a report of the attack took direct aim at Sbeih, killing him.
VIDEO RECORDING OF ISRAELI POLICE SHOOTOUT WITH ISLAMIC TERRORIST IN JERUSALEM ON 9 SEPTEMBER 2016. VOICE ON RECORDING EXCLAIMS, "ALLAHU AKBAR," A.K.A. "ALLAH IS GREATER. VIDEO SOURCE: TWITTER ACCOUNT, @QudsTVSat; ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW.
Yossi Amar, a volunteer with United Hatzalah emergency services, arrived at the scene of the attack on Ammunition Hill.
"When I reached the site, I found an unconscious woman. Together with other volunteers from United Hatzalah's motorcycle unit, we administered first aid. We did not [immediately] see other physically injured individuals and we assisted those suffering from panic attacks," he said.
The principal of the nearby Frankel School, Taliah Reich, told Army Radio: "The teachers brought the 300 students to the sheltered area and locked the doors. These were students in grades one through six. We have had so much practice that the students simply ran into the shelters. We calmed them down. Everything is OK. We have a team for emergency situations that updated the parents. The children will return to their routine once I get a clear message from the security officer."
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan visited the scene and said, "There were no prior warnings of an attack like this. The terrorist had a blue identity card [for Israeli citizens and permanent residents] and he did not need to infiltrate checkpoints. The Israel Police Special Patrol Unit officers acted quickly. We will take all possible steps to restore security to the city."
Erdan said that he believes Facebook and other social networks bear "direct responsibility" for attacks such as this one.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commented on the attack during Sunday's cabinet meeting, saying, "This was a shooting attack by a rotten terrorist. We are still clarifying the details. I would like to send wishes for a recovery to the wounded, and to say, as it appears from the reports that we are receiving, that there was very quick and determined action here by Israel Police personnel who pursued the terrorist and eliminated him."
What was Sbeih's motive for the shooting spree? Sbeih himself explained in a video "will" he recorded before the assault and published by Al Quds TV. In it, he says, "My message to the citizens of al-Quds and its young population is that they should continue to protect the al-Aqsa mosque for it to remain within the faith of every Muslim around the world. To the occupation I say: despite all of your exploitation, all the slaughters, we stand strong in the al-Aqsa mosque and guard its gates, the Old City, and al-Quds. God willing, we shall rise again and return to al-Quds."
Al-Quds is Arabic for the Islamic designation of Jerusalem. Al-Aqsa mosque has been broadened by Islamic Palestinians to include the entire Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City.
In Ramallah, the ruling party of the Palestinian Authority, called for a day of mourning for the murderer Sbeih. From Gaza, Hamas and Islamic Jihad welcomed news of his attack. Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said, "This was a high-quality, heroic attack. It is a natural response to the Zionist occupation. We call for an escalation in attacks."
Islamic Jihad released a statement saying, "This is the appropriate response to the Zionist killing machine. The attacks will continue. The Jerusalem intifada is not over."
This is blended report by Brian Schrauger and articles by Israel Hayom at http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=37035, YNet News at http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4864763,00.html and Ma'an News at https://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=773493