Palestinian terrorist attacks hit three Israeli towns in quick succession Tuesday, March 8, the day US Vice President Joe Biden landed in Israel, claiming the life of an American combat veteran and injuring 15 people. Fears were quickly borne out of a further surge Wednesday, when he arrived in Jerusalem – to call on President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem and hold talks with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
The day began with Palestinian terror attacks in the capital: In one, at Damascus Gate, a racing Palestinian vehicle seriously injured an Israeli pedestrian. It was followed by gunfire on a bus in the northern suburb of Ramot and the chase of a Palestinian drive-by shooting car carrying heavily armed passengers.
The US State Department’s John Kirby said Tuesday night that the US “condemns in the strongest possible terms the outrageous terrorist attacks in Jaffa, Petah Tikvah and Jerusalem, which tragically claimed the life of US citizen Taylor Allen Force and left many others severely injured.” Heartfelt condolences were extended to “the family and friends of Taylor Allen Force and all those affected by these senseless attacks. We continue to encourage all parties to take affirmative steps to reduce tensions and reduce calm,” the statement concluded.
The US statement omitted to utter the word “Palestinian” in its condemnation of “the outrageous terrorist attack” that claimed the life of a US combat veteran of America’s Iraqi and Afghanistan wars and critically injured his wife.
As the attacks continued, former Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who leads an opposition party, called on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon to resign for failing to halt the deadly Palestinian offensive after six months of terror.
He said that even the most obvious steps of imposing penalties on Israeli firms employing illegal Palestinian infiltrators and repairing breaches in the security barrier had been neglected. Instead, half a billion shekels had been handed out to the Palestinian Authority along with another 30,000 work permits.
As debkafile reported earlier, the knifing attack in Jaffa was perpetrated not far from the venue of the Peres Center for Peace, the US vice president’s first stop on his arrival in Israel Tuesday.
Questions have since been asked about why the police did not cordon off that part of Tel Aviv-Jaffa as a “sterile zone” ahead of the visit.
Furthermore, the Jaffa killer, aged 22 from Qaliqilya, was able to race through Jaffa streets, stabbing 10 passersby and motorists as he ran, before he was cut down by shots on the Jaffa promenade. Drivers who saw this happening could have run him down and cut short his killing spree.
Shortly before Biden landed at Ben Gurion Airport, three serious terrorist attacks were staged in Jerusalem and Petah Tikva near Tel Aviv, leaving nine people injured, including two Border Guards policemen who are still in critical condition.
In Jerusalem, the perpetrator, who used a Karl Gustav to shoot the policemen, had an Israeli ID as a resident of Issawiyeh village which borders the French Hill neighborhood in the northern part of the capital and the Hebrew University’s Mount Scopus campus. He chose Salahadin Street outside Damascus Gate because he counted on the densely built area covering his flight while continuing to shoot at his pursuers.
In Petah Tikva, another terrorist from the Palestinian town of Qalqilya, stabbed an Orthodox Jew of 40 in the throat inside a wine store. Before losing consciousness the victim fought back, grabbed the knife and turned it fatally against his assailant.
debkafile’s counterterrorism sources maintain that it can no longer be claimed that the current wave of terror is caused by individuals acting spontaneously. The day’s violence was patently organized by a single Palestinian command center to synchronize with the visit to Israel of the American vice president – and not for the first time.
During the Second Intifada, Palestinian terrorist organizations habitually staged outbreaks of extreme violence whenever a high-ranking US official visited Israel or Ramallah, as part of their strategy for extorting concessions from Israel and driving the Jewish State to desperation.
Nonetheless, as terror struck in one location after another, Netanyahu government spokesmen and police chiefs persisted in their hollow claim that it was merely the work of individuals and unconnected to any other events. Although the police spokesman admitted after midnight Tuesday a link with the Biden visit, the official line was designed to cover three major lapses:
1. The general public was not warned warned that the US Vice President’s visit to Israel had the potential for sparking a new peak in Palestinian terror.
2. The Jaffa area should have been secured.
3. The personnel securing the Old City of Jerusalem and its shrines are exposed to deadly attacks day by day by Palestinian terrorists. This must be stopped.