Photo Credit: Esther Rubyan / Flash 90
People pass through a part of the shuk (market) in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Can co-existence ever flourish in an environment where those who once were neighbors now celebrate their savage murders instead?

Arabs in Jerusalem and the Palestinian Authority together celebrated the Jewish blood spilled by a Hamas terrorist on Sunday — including that which marked the death of a 60-year-old grandmother and a 30-year-old newly-married Yassam special operations police office — as well as physical injuries to six others and deep trauma wounds to a number who required medical help.

Jerusalem grandmother, 60, Levana Malachi, and First Sergeant Police Officer Yosef Kirama, 30, shot and killed by a convicted Arab terrorist in Jerusalem.
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Many Jerusalem Arabs — who possess Israeli identity cards and who enjoy the rights and benefits those cards represent — were positively rejoicing in public places, despite the presence of Jews nearby.

Arab residents of Jerusalem were handing out sweets and candies to passersby, and others were shouting “Allahu Akbar!” — some until they were hoarse.

In one case, this took place in an Aroma cafe next to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. An Israeli at the Cafe related to Arutz Sheva that Arab workers employed at Hadassah Mount Scopus Hospital came over to other Arabs at the cafe to wish them “Mabruk” (congratulations), just as the news of the deaths of the two victims were announced over media.

Together with cheers of ‘Allahu Akbar!’ (God is Great! in Arabic) and cheering of other Arabs in the street, those in the cafe began to sing and clap, with “joy on their faces.” It’s an extremely sobering reality check for Jews who believe in co-existence who suddenly are forced to confront the fearful truth that educated Arab fellow students with whom they spend time and drink coffee at university can suddenly, in a heartbeat, break out in joyous celebration at the violent bloody murder of a Jewish stranger.

For hours after the attack, Israel Police deployed throughout the capital to arrest those who were handing out candies. They blocked the terrorist’s family from setting up the traditional mourning tent for the killer — a move that would have served as a gathering place for further incitement and glorification of his murderous rampage, which Israel is determined to prevent.

Police also arrested those who pressured Israeli Arab business owners into closing their establishments in solidarity with the terrorist’s “martyrdom”.

Also arrested were the Arab bystanders who had used their cell phones to film and narrate the attack, while shouting Allahu Akbar! to cheer on the terrorist’s murderous efforts, until they were hoarse — which they then posted on social media sites to publicize the “happy event.”

Arab internet users also viciously attacked the Facebook page of Yosef Kirama, the police officer who died in the shootout with the terrorist. Arab cyber attackers posted abusive posts with anti-Semitic caricatures, a masked terrorist holding a knife, and even a death threat to another Jewish user. Some of the incitement was reported to police.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan reiterated the important role of social media sites — including Facebook — in spreading or preventing the spread of anti-Semitic incitement to murder. “We’ve said this before: the rise in the rate of internet incitement sparks lone wolf terrorism,” Erdan said in a statement.

The Gaza-based Hamas terrorist organization — which confirmed the killer as a member of its group — “proudly announced” that its “son” and “Mujahid” had “died a martyr.” In a statement the group described him as one of the “great figures of Jerusalem, and one of the city’s best people, who sacrificed his soul and his money defending Jerusalem,” according to a report by the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency.

On the Qassam website of the Izz a-Din al-Qassam military wing of Hamas, the group said in a statement that the attack was “a natural reaction to the continued crimes committed by the Israeli occupation against the Palestinians and the Holy al-Aqsa Mosque.”

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization also offered its own statement of praise, calling the attack “heroic.”

The Jerusalem branch of the Fatah faction led by Mahmoud Abbas issued a call via for a general strike, telling shop owners in the Old City of Jerusalem to shut their doors “in memory of the souls of the Martyrs of Palestine and this morning’s Martyr.”

It was Mahmoud Abbas who worked to ensure he could attend the funeral of Israel’s ninth president, former elder statesman Shimon Peres. When asked about the severe criticism he received at home for his attendance at the funeral in Jerusalem, Abbas told reporters he believed it was important to “show that he was a partner for peace.”

But it was the PA government’s leading Fatah faction, headed by Mahmoud Abbas, that posted an announcement on its Facebook page, translated by the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) watchdog organization, praising, “The one who carried out the operation today in Jerusalem is a pilgrim [to Mecca] Martyr.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.

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