Fifth terror attack in almost three weeks took place in flashpoint Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.
By Pesach Benson, United With Israel
A 15-year-old Arab girl stabbed an Israeli mother walking her children to school near the Tomb of Shimon HaTzadik in Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood on Wednesday.
The 26-year-old victim was taken to the Hadassah University Hospital-Mt. Scopus where she was treated for light stab wounds in the back. Reports said she is conscious and in stable condition.
The suspect fled the scene but was apprehended at an eastern Jerusalem school following a brief manhunt.
“When we arrived we saw near the entrance to Sheikh Jarrah a woman with children who was on her way to drop them off at their schools when she was stabbed,” the medics told Hebrew media. “She was ambulatory and fully conscious.”
Reports said the children were unharmed and being cared for by the police.
In a statement, the Hamas terror group called the attack an act of heroism, saying, “This proves the greatness of our people who’s resistance is unbreakable.”
A Spate of Stabbings and the Sheikh Jarrah Flashpoint
The stabbing was the fifth terror attack in Jerusalem since November 17. Three were non-fatal stabbings and one was a car-ramming attack. In the fifth, Hamas member Fadi Abu Shkhaydam opened fire on Israelis, killing South African immigrant Eliyahu Kay and injuring four others.
All have been described as “lone wolf” attacks committed by individuals acting on their own.
The flashpoint Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood is also known as Shimon HaTzaddik, after the Second Temple High Priest buried there. Jews had been living in that neighborhood since the 1890s. In the 1930s, the property at the heart of the controversy was purchased by Nahalat Shimon, an association that developed the land for Yemenite and Sephardic Jews.
During the War of Independence, Jordan captured Jerusalem’s eastern neighborhoods and Jordanian families moved in. Some built new houses on the land in Sheikh Jarrah. The Jordanian Ministry of Housing also appropriated land to build houses for Arabs in the neighborhood.
That changed when Israel reunified Jerusalem during the Six-Day War of 1967. In a legal process that has dragged out for decades, Israel’s Supreme Court ruled in 1982 in favor of the Sephardic Community Committee of Sheikh Jarrah landowners. The ruling cited a 1970 law permitting Jews to reclaim property in eastern Jerusalem if it had been purchased before 1948.
Subsequent Supreme Court decisions ruled in favor of Nahalat Shimon, saying that the squatters were required to pay rent. But successive governments never enforced the court rulings. The refusal to evict the families is widely attributed to political pressure and the fear of Arab violence.
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