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Photo: GPO
Netanyahu at police briefing
Photo: GPO
Netanyahu: Jerusalem is under attack
Palestinians continue to inflame tensions in east Jerusalem as prime minister orders massive reinforcement in capital after consultation with top security echelon.

"Jerusalem is under attack," charged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday, less than 24 hours after a terrorist plowed through a crowd of Israelis at a Light Rail station.

 

 

The prime minister convened a security consultation at the Jerusalem Police headquarters with the internal security minister, the chief of police, the head of the Shin Bet, the mayor, and the regional commander – as rock throwing incidents continued across the capital.

 

Netanyahu ordered the assembled officials to emphasize Israeli sovereignty over all parts of Jerusalem using massive reinforcements.

 

Netanyahu at police headquaters (Photo: GPO)
Netanyahu at police headquaters (Photo: GPO)

"Jerusalem is not the only city under attack by terrorists; other cities across the world are, as well. But the offensive in Jerusalem is supported by the chairman of the Palestinian Authority, Abu Mazen, who glorifies the murderers and embraces the group they belong to – Hamas," said Netanyahu.

 

Netanyahu used the occasion to remind world powers of the threat posed by terrorism. "Against these acts we face international flaccidity. But there is no such weakness here. We will stand strong for our rights and our obligations to protect our capital."

 

The security establishment's assessment believes that the terrorist was a "lone wolf" operating, without any support or assistance from a terror group, as part of the wave of nationalistically-motivated violence sweeping over Jerusalem in the past few months.

 

The Shin Bet and Police investigation has yet to conclude; the terrorist's family members are to be questioned to discover if they were aware of his intentions or aided him in the attack's execution.

 

Haya Zissel Braun, RIP
Haya Zissel Braun, RIP

 

Netanyahu was briefed on the attack and the ongoing disorder and violence in the city over recent months. He met the police officer which shot the terrorist and sent his condolences to the bereaved family of the murdered baby, Haya Zissel Braun.

 

"If they could, the murderers would eliminate all of us – and this simple truth must guide the entire international community," he said.

 

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, however, urged moderation in Israeli officials' public statements after the incident. "Condemning Abu Mazen's inciting remarks is justified but is not enough. We must also stop the tempestuous declarations, the irresponsible legislative proposals, the provocative construction, or the dead-of-night celebrations over buying homes in Muslim areas."

 

Vehicle used by terrorist (Photo: AFP) (Photo: AFP)
Vehicle used by terrorist (Photo: AFP)

 

Livni emphasized self-restraint. "We have a massive responsibility. We one step away from the nationalist conflict turning religious – from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict converging around Islam. Now is the time to act wisely and responsibly. That responsibility falls upon the shoulders of both sides."

 

President Reuven Rivlin, who spoke at the Haya's funeral, said that he saw at the cemetery "the terrible pain of the baby's family."

 

Meanwhile, the foreign ministry is flying the parents of the Ecuadorian citizen who was injured in Wednesday's attack. They are expected to arrive in Israel Thursday night.

 

Earlier on Thuesday, stones were thrown at a kindergarten in the Ma'ale ha-Zeitim neighborhood in east Jerusalem, near the Arab neighborhood of Ras al-Amud. No one was hurt and no damage was caused, and police were still looking for the perpetrators.

 

Attila Somfalvi contributed to this report.

 

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