“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)
Israelis are bracing for what many have begun to call the start of a Third Intifada following a series of deadly and violent Palestinian terror attacks across Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.
Late Saturday evening and early Sunday morning, two incidents in Jerusalem’s Old City left two Israeli men killed and three others injured.
Following the conclusion of the Sabbath, a Palestinian terrorist, identified as 19-year-old Muhanad Shafeq Halabi from al-Bireh, near Ramallah, stabbed Rabbi Nehemia Lavi and Aharon Bennett to death. Bennett’s wife and two-year-old son were injured in the attack.
Israeli security forces responding to the attack shot dead the terrorist. Bennett’s wife remains in serious condition after undergoing emergency surgery. The baby was lightly wounded and remains in stable condition.
The Islamic Jihad terrorist group took credit for the stabbing attack. Before carrying out the attack, Halabi wrote a post on Facebook warning of a Third Intifada.
“According to what I see, the Third Intifada has erupted. What is happening to al-Aqsa is what is happening to our holy sites, and what is happening to the women of al-Aqsa is what is happening to our mothers and women. I don’t believe that our people will succumb to humiliation,” he wrote. “The people will indeed rise up.”
The second attack, which took place in the early morning hours of Sunday, saw an Israeli teen injured after being stabbed by a Palestinian outside the Old City near Damascus Gate. The terrorist was shot dead by security forces. The 15-year-old victim remains in stable condition, suffering from wounds inflicted to the back and chest.
Hamas affiliated media identified the terrorist as Fadi Aloon, a resident of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya. According to reports, Aloon expressed interest on Facebook in becoming a shahid (martyr), asking God to forgive his sins.
— قناة الأقصى الفضائية (@AqsaTVChannel) October 4, 2015
The twin stabbing attacks come just three days after a horrific terror attack Thursday, in which two Israeli parents were shot dead in front of their four children while traveling in Judea and Samaria.
Fatah’s armed wing, which comes under the jurisdiction of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, claimed responsibility for the attack.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed a “harsh response” to the latest uptick in terrorism across Israel. He blasted Abbas’ Fatah party, who praised Saturday’s stabbing attack, calling the terrorist a “hero.”
“Behold the ‘moderates’ of the Palestinian Authority and [our] alleged peace partner,” Netanyahu said on Sunday. “I am on my way to Israel and when I arrive I will head immediately to the Kirya to meet with top security officials to adjudicate a harsh response to Palestinian Islamic terrorism.”
“We are waging a bitter war against terror – and we will do so vigorously.”