Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel / Flash 90
Israeli security forces at the scene of a terror attack near Damascus Gate in Jerusalem on June 16, 2017.

Israeli government officials confirmed Saturday night that Friday’s terrorist attacks were carried out by operatives from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) – a faction belonging to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) – not the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group.

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The three terrorists were residents of the Arab village of Deir Abu-Masha’al, according to a report published by Ha’aretz. The village was closed by Israel on Saturday, and the families of the attackers have had the Israeli work permits rescinded in response to the attack.

The houses of the attackers were also mapped, in preparation for possible demolition — a routine Israeli policy response to terrorist murders. Notices were posted in the village to explain the actions being taken in response to the attacks.

The PLO, founded by the late terrorist Yasser Arafat, is today headed by Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, who also still heads the PA’s leading Fatah faction as well.

Abbas has not condemned Friday’s attacks, nor has he made any statement of condolence to the family of Hadas Malka, z’l, the 23-year-old Border Guard Policewoman who was stabbed to death by one of the operatives at the Damascus Gate entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Friday night with heads of the security establishment to assess the situation and determine what steps might be taken to prevent further attacks.

Due to the number of terror attacks that have taken place at the site, it was decided to transform the Damascus Gate area into a “sterile space.” No further details were made available to media.

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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.