Two Palestinian terrorists stabbed three Israelis near the Jaffa Gate in the Old City on Wednesday, December 23rd, before they were ultimately shot and killed by Border Police officers who were patrolling the area. Two of those Israelis died from their wounds later that evening, and the third remains in the hospital.
The attack came just a day before thousands of Christians from all over the world were to flock to Jerusalem in a pilgrimage to celebrate Christmas. It is a sobering reminder of the kind of violence and tension that still exists in the region, and the extensive steps that the Israeli government must take to ensure the safety of both it’s citizens and to visitors to the Holy Land.
The first terrorist was killed on site, with the second later dying of his wounds at the city’s hospital.
According to a police spokesperson, the city was preparing to have heightened security with emphasis especially on the Old City in anticipation of the masses of thousands of tourists who were to be convening on the area the following day. Police reassured coming tourists that they would be doing everything they could to ensure everyone’s safety as they celebrated the holiday, but also made sure to mention that if anyone saw anything suspicious, they should be sure to report it to police.
Police also were investigating whether the two assailants were acting by themselves or were part of an organized terrorist organization. The attack itself was definitely organized, but it was not possible to immediately determine if they had connections to any other operation. The terrorists were confirmed to be Palestinian, but it was also unclear which area they came from and how they managed to get into the Jaffa Gate area.
Please pray for these victims and for all people in Israel and Jerusalem who have to live in fear of such attacks. Pray that God will shine through and provide people with hope in the face of such radical views.