Police on high alert in Jerusalem following attack and before Yom Kippur
Sunday's shooting attack, which took the lives of two Israelis, caught Jerusalem Police in the midst of preparations for the High Holy Days and only served to amp up the already heightened level of alertness; as part of its preparations, the police began to break up celebrations honoring the killed terrorist in east Jerusalem while looking out for further incitement.
The Israel Police continues its extensive preparation before Yom Kippur, as tensions rise following the deadly stabbing attack that took place Sunday, during which 1st Sgt. Yosef Karmia and Levana Malichi were killed.
Thousands of police officers have been stationed around the city, and as per usual during the High Holy Days, the Jerusalem District Police set up blockades along the border between east and west Jerusalem, intended to prevent terrorist attacks and provocations by Arab residents looking to incite violence.
Following footage from Sunday showing Arab residents in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina, the village of al-Ram and the Gaza Strip celebrating the attack and handing out candy, Minister of Public Security and Strategic Affairs and Minister of Information Gilad Erdan (Likud) ordered the arrest of several of those celebrating, under suspicion that their actions could amount to incitement, violence or terrorism.
Erdan stated that "Immediately after the attack, I instructed the police to do everything it can to preven those showing support to the terrorist and his actions, and to exact justice with everyone who does these sorts of things and supports terrorism."
Security forces particularly clashed with supporters in the village of al-Ram north of Jeruslaem, where the terrorist's family lives. During the confrontation, an Associated Press photographer was reportedly hit by a rubber bullet. The photographer claimed that in addition to being hit, as he was filming the event, an Israeli security officer yelled profanity at him and demanded that he leave. When he turned around, he was hit in the shoulder by the bullet.
More than 15 suspects have already been arrested in east Jerusalem, Among them were those who hung photographs of the killed terrorist next to words of praise. It was later reported that those handing out candy belong to the terrorist's family, who owns a sweetshop in the Old City.
A protest of support of the terrorist's actions was dispersed, and security forces also prevented the erection of a mourners' tent.
Several places of business in east Jerusalem closed as a sign of sympathizing with the terrorist and the attack he carried out. In an attempt to denote the terrorist's perceived courage, the signs outside the shops read, "Business is closed due to the death of the Lion."
The terrorist's daughter was featured in a video following the attack that, in addition to the deaths of the two Jewish Israelis killed, ended in her father's death. "We're very happy and proud of our father," she said. "My father is a great man. Our relationship, as father and daughter, was excellent."
The increased security is also on account of the large number of Jews expected to congregate around the city on Monday night for Selichot (penitential prayers), in particular before the Western Wall.
The terrorist attack was preceded and technically made possible due to a postponed sentence of his over a previous indictment. The terrorist was about return to prison for a four-monvith sentence on Sunday, but instead he carried out the deadly attack. Reports also stated that during his time out of prison, the terrorist continuously incited to violence.
The victims of the attack were laid to rest Monday afternoon. One of those to speak at Yossi Karmia's funeral was his widow Noy, who married him five months ago after knowing him for 15 years. "Look how many people showed up just for you," said Noy. "They told me to write something from the heart, but my heart's been shattered. We had so many plans, a house and kids. You loved me more than I love myself. I promise to be good, for you."
Her voice muffled by her tears, she continued. "I'm sorry I didn't protect you. I'm asking that you protect me. I don't know how I'll be able to manage without you, but I promise: You'll always be in my heart, always, until I die."