A wave of near-daily attacks by Palestinians has left Israelis resorting to desperate tactics to defend themselves, including using screwdrivers and nunchucks to combat attackers.
As The Wall Street Journal’s Bret Stephens succinctly outlines, the surge in terror attacks by Palestinians over the last two weeks has followed calls for violence by Palestinian leaders. “Al Aqsa Mosque is ours. They [Jews] have no right to defile it with their filthy feet,” Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas spat last month. “We bless every drop of blood spilled for Jerusalem, which is clean and pure blood, blood spilled for Allah.”
“Brothers, this is why we recall today what Allah did to the Jews,” said one Palestinian imam Friday, as translated by Memri. “Today, we realize why the Jews build walls. They do not do this to stop missiles but to prevent the slitting of their throats… My brother in the West Bank: Stab!”
The deaths and injuries are mounting:
…Hamas killed a Jewish couple while driving their four children a Jewish couple as they were driving with their four children in the northern West Bank. Two days later, a Palestinian teenager stabbed two Israelis to death in Jerusalem’s Old City, and also slashed a woman and a 2-year-old boy. Hours later, another knife-wielding Palestinian was shot and killed by Israeli police after he slashed a 15-year-old Israeli boy in the chest and back.
Other Palestinian attacks include the stabbing of two elderly Israeli men and an assault with a vegetable peeler on a 14-year-old. On Sunday, an Arab-Israeli man ran over a 19-year-old female soldier at a bus stop, then got out of his car, stabbed her, and attacked two men and a 14-year-old girl. Several attacks have been carried out by women, including a failed suicide bombing.
One resident of Jerusalem's Old City told The Daily Wire that the wave of attacks has created widespread fear, including among Arab residents.
"If you walk around the inside of the old city, you'll see cops standing every ten meters day and night guarding the area," he said. "Today, when I got on the Number 1 bus from [the Western Wall], everyone was looking at everyone searching for anybody suspicious, until even the Arab driver stopped at a bus stop, got up, and started looking around the bus because he was also scared."
The alarming number of attacks has resulted in desperate and often heroic responses by citizens. Israel National News reports, when a Palestinian man, Alaa Abu Jamal, rammed his car into pedestrians and used a knife to murder a rabbi and wound another person (see below), citizens scrambled to arm themselves with whatever was available.
Miriam, another witness, said, "I heard 'attack, attack, terrorist, terrorist!' I grabbed the tools in my store, specifically screwdrivers, and distributed them out to people so they could run (and subdue the terrorist - ed.)."
Describing the panic, she noted "things were falling out of people's hands here, they ran - it was intense. I heard gunfire, I thought it was a shooting attack but I understood they neutralized the terrorist."
When asked about her quick response in the face of danger, Miriam noted, "we're always in a state of tension, in Jerusalem you're always on guard. We know that in Jerusalem it's always on guard, more than any other city."
"I have everything on me, I have tear gas, everything on me. Always on guard," she repeated.
Screwdrivers are not the only unusual means of defense Israelis have been forced to resort to in the last two weeks. PJ Media highlights one particularly heroic Israeli who helped take down a terrorist who jumped on a bus in Jerusalem to kill Israelis.
According to police, a Palestinian man on a Jerusalem bus stabbed an IDF soldier and attempted to steal his gun.
Enter Jerusalem resident Yair Ben Shabat: “I jumped onto the bus and helped them struggle with the terrorist. I took nunchucks out and hit him where I had to for them to be able to pry loose the weapon he held.”
The attacker was shot dead by police. The soldier survived and was in “light-to-moderate condition” at a hospital.
“We bless every drop of blood spilled for Jerusalem, which is clean and pure blood, blood spilled for Allah.”
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
According to The Jerusalem Post, the bus attack was the fourth attack in twelve hours. Hamas has praised the attackers' "heroic operations" Tuesday.
"These continuing operations in Jerusalem and the West Bank are a message to all those who presume to offend al-Aqsa mosque," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told NBC News. "The Palestinian people will not remain silent against oppression and is ready to make a sacrifice in order to defend Jerusalem and al-Aqsa."
Here is a recently posted video of the car attack in Geula (warning: extremely graphic):
This article has been updated.
Image (via AP): Israeli ZAKA emergency response members carry the body of an Israeli at the scene of a shooting attack in Jerusalem, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015. A pair of Palestinian men boarded a bus in Jerusalem and began shooting and stabbing passengers, while another assailant rammed a car into a bus station before stabbing bystanders, in near-simultaneous attacks that escalated a month long wave of violence. Two Israelis and one attacker were killed.