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Sun. Oct 9, 2016 News from Israel

  • Two killed and six wounded in Jerusalem terror attack
  • Terrorist has Hamas ties; incited others to violence in video on social media
  • Lieberman calls to punish Arab MKs for boycotting Peres' funeral

2 people were murdered and 6 more were injured on Sunday in a multiple shooting attack that occurred at three different scenes in Jerusalem. One of the victims was a police officer, Yosef Kirmah, 29. In the preceding year, Kirma had received a medal of valor for preventing a terror attack. He was survived by his wife, parents and two siblings. The other victim was Levana Melichi, 60, from Jerusalem. She is survived by her husband, 3 children and 6 grandchildren.  She was murdered at the Ammunition Light Rail Station.

At around 10:15 AM, the terrorist arrived at the Ammunition Hill Jerusalem Light Rail station across from the Israel Police National Headquarters from the direction of the city’s French Hill. There, he shot Levana Melichi, who later died of her wounds.  Several other people waiting at the station were injured by shrapnel. The terrorist then continued driving fast and shot another woman who was in her car. After shooting his second victim, he continued driving through the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, getting stuck in a traffic jam there. The terrorist stopped when he saw that police officers were chasing him. He then opened fire on the police officers, critically injuring one of them. It is reported that the terrorist used an IDF issued M-16 rifle. The other officers shot and killed the terrorist. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent condolences to the families of the victims and wished the injured a speedy recovery.  He also lauded the prompt action by the police to neutralize the terrorist.

The terrorist, a resident of Silwan who held a blue Israeli ID card, was known to the police. He was scheduled to serve a 4 month jail sentence for breaking a restraining order to keep him away from Jerusalem’s old city.  A year ago, he was also charged with incitement and support of a terrorist group through the social media. He was known to have ties to Hamas. His daughter lauded him as a martyr who ensured their place in heaven.  In a video broadcast on Palestinian TV, he encouraged residents of East Jerusalem to commit acts of violence. Gilad Erdan, Minister of Public Security stated, “One of our central battles is to fight the incitement on the social networks. It has an influence; it brings people to the streets to commit acts of terror. I appeal to Facebook, and to all internet companies, you have a responsibility to the public. Opening the Hamas page because of pressure from the Palestinian street is reprehensible.”       Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh called on citizens to be alert, but at the same time to maintain routine following the deadly terrorist attack in Jerusalem. “Do not be complacent, however; do not change your routine. We are not changing any plans for events in Jerusalem. Do not fear coming to visit during the upcoming holidays.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to convene a meeting of his coalition to discuss taking steps against the MKs from the Arab Joint List Party. This follows their absence at the funeral of former president Shimon Peres. Aymen Odeh, head of the Joint List called on members of the party to boycott Peres’ funeral. MK Ahmed Tibi responded to Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s strong condemnation, “The security factions continue to babble. I believe that the departed would turn in his grave to hear that the neighborhood bully is the bouncer at the funeral.”   

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