Attacks in Jerusalem’s Old City Must Stop

8 Oct
A Jewish boy lights candles where a stabbing attack took place in Jerusalem's Old City, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015. A Palestinian stabbed a Jewish seminary student in Jerusalem on Thursday as the Israeli prime minister barred all Cabinet ministers and lawmakers from visiting a sensitive holy site in the Old City in an effort to calm tensions that have gripped the country for weeks. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

A Jewish boy lights candles where a stabbing attack took place in Jerusalem’s Old City. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee is saddened by the deaths of Nehemia Lavi, 41, and Aharon Banito, 21.

Both were murdered by a Palestinian terrorist during a stabbing spree in Jerusalem’s Old City on Saturday night that also wounded Banito’s wife and 2-year-old baby. Hours later, another Palestinian terrorist stabbed Moshe Malka, an Israeli teen, near the Old City’s Damascus gate. Both terrorists were shot and killed at the scenes.

We are further outraged by the statement of the Palestinian Authority, who after days of escalating violence in Jerusalem, went so far as to condemn Israel for its “policy of escalation” and the deaths of the two terrorists, but did nothing to repudiate the reprehensible violence the terrorists committed.

There is no possible justification for the killing of innocent people. Every Israeli and Palestinian deserves to live in peace and security. We commend Prime Minister Netanyahu’s recent statement offering to meet with PA leader Mahmoud Abbas unconditionally to discuss peace.

Conversely, we are disheartened by Abbas’ recent statements at the UN renouncing the Oslo accords. We stand in solidarity with the state of Israel and support efforts of the Israeli government to maintain law and order.

We are deeply troubled by the deaths and wounding of innocent people and the senseless violence. We mourn for those who were killed, pray for the recovery of the injured and for the solace of their loved ones and their community. The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee offers our condolences to the families of the deceased.

Adapted from The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Greater Washington.  JCRC is the public affairs and community relations arm of the Jewish community representing Jewish organizations and synagogues throughout  D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. The JFSM focuses on government relations, Israel advocacy, inter-group relations, and social justice.

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