Daily Israel Report

Old City Terrorist Was an Israeli Arab

He was Ahmed Mahmoud Khatib, a 29-year-old from the town of Kfar Manda in the Galilee. GSS agents detained and questioned several town residents.
By Nissan Ratzlav-Katz
First Publish: 8/12/2007, 1:50 AM

The identity of the terrorist who was killed after snatching a security guard's weapon on Friday has been released for publication. He was Ahmed Mahmoud Khatib, a 29-year-old Israeli Arab from the town of Kfar Manda in the Western Galilee. General
Three different terrorist groups claimed credit for the attack.
Security Services agents detained and questioned several residents of the town.

According to reports from the Ateret Kohanim yeshiva, located in the Old City of Jerusalem, Khatib managed to grab the personal weapon of a guard employed by the yeshiva. The terrorist then reportedly opened fire randomly until he was himself shot and killed by a second security guard. At least one source claimed that the security guard whose gun was pilfered was first stabbed by Khatib.

Eleven people were injured in the Old City attack, either from gun shot wounds or from injuries sustained as they fled the scene of the shooting. Among the victims of the attack, two people sustained moderate injuries and eight were lightly hurt. Six of those injured are Jews, two - a father and daughter - are Armenian, and two are Muslims.

Police Commander Lt. Gen. Dudi Cohen said Friday that the security guards who countered the attack "acted flawlessly, as they were supposed to. Security in Jerusalem is at the maximal level. People can come and visit, and even walk about [safely] in the alleys of the Old City."

Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupoliansky said that "the capital of Israel will not give in to attempts to destabilize its security."

On Saturday, three different terrorist groups claimed credit for the attack. In a joint statement, the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, the armed wing of the PFLP, the Al-Quds Brigades of the Islamic Jihad and the Al-Aqsa Brigades of Fatah all claimed responsibility. Fatah is headed by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who recently released dramatic footage of Al-Aqsa terrorists turning their weapons in to the PA's official police department.

Family members and friends of the alleged terrorist said that
[Khatib was] a 29-year-old Israeli Arab from the... Western Galilee.
they were "surprised" at his involvement in such an incident. They described Khatib as having always been so "quiet."

Knesset Member Aryeh Eldad (National Union-NRP) said that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert shared blame for Friday's terror incident. "The first terror attack in Jerusalem in two years is apparently the result of statements by Prime Minister Olmert and his associates regarding their wish to create a Palestinian state in most of Judea and Samaria and to divide to the capital," Eldad declared.

News of a government plan to hand over territory equivalent to all of Judea and Samaria was published in the Ha'aretz newspaper last week, although the existence of such a plan was vigorously denied by Olmert's office.