On Sunday, Border Police Chief Amir Cohen met with the police officers who eliminated the terrorist responsible for a stabbing attack that occurred on Shabbat afternoon (Saturday) near Damascus Gate, just outside the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. Chief Cohen returned the officers their weapons and ordered them to return to their duties, following their interrogation by the Police Investigations Department.
“You acted swiftly and with expertise and determination,” Cohen told the two officers, “and you prevented the terrorist from continuing with his attack on other citizens, many of whom were in the vicinity. As with all attacks of this kind, we, as a professional force seek to learn the appropriate lessons.
“The current security situation demands of us that we be in a constant state of readiness and alert in order to deal with an emergency event that can develop suddenly without warning – exactly as you yourselves were,” Cohen added. “This is true of Jerusalem and of other parts of Israel wherever our fighters are stationed on a daily basis in order to protect our citizens.”
Cohen noted that, “This incident could have ended very differently, and only due to your actions was an additional attack prevented – either on security officers or on other citizens. You used directed fire to secure the situation and acted exactly as we expect our officers to do. We have many challenges ahead of us, and we will continue to do whatever is needed to protect the citizens of Israel.”
Commenting on the incident, Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai stressed that it was unnecessary to pay too much significance to the fact that the officers were interrogated following their shooting of the terrorist. “This is simply a routine occurrence that follows every such incident,” he told Israel National News. “This Hanukkah we have two new heroes – the police officers who eliminated this terrorist. They have now been reissued their weapons and they will be back on duty later today.”
Asked whether Jerusalem was experiencing an escalation of hostilities, Shabtai replied, “In recent weeks, there have been three terrorist incidents [in Jerusalem] and I am glad to say that in each one, police responded swiftly – there were literally instantaneous responses. There is no escalation or organization of terrorist activities – these are isolated incidents,” he insisted.
Commenting on preparations for flags marches in mixed cities, Shabtai said, “We live in a democracy, and anyone who wants to hold a march and express his opinions may do so. Of course, it is also necessary to abide by certain conditions due to security considerations in order to guarantee the safety of the participants,” he added.