Israel vows response to more Jerusalem attacks

Prime Minister Benjamin accuses Palestinian President Abbas of supporting ‘terror’

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Any future attacks on Jerusalem will be met with the “harshest response,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday after a deadly Palestinian car attack killed a baby.

“Jerusalem is united and was, and always will be, the eternal capital of Israel. Any attempt to harm its residents will be met with the harshest response,” he said in a statement.

His remarks came a day after a young Palestinian rammed a crowd of Israeli pedestrians at high speed, killing a baby and injuring another six people. He was shot while trying to flee the car on foot and later died of his injuries.

Following an order from Netanyahu late on Wednesday, police have bolstered their presence across the city in a bid to end months of unrest in the occupied eastern sector.

“We will return peace and security to Jerusalem,” Netanyahu said.

Israel identified the driver -- a 21-year-old Palestinian from east Jerusalem -- as a member of the radical Hamas movement, which recently inked a unity deal with the Fatah movement of Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas, ending years of bitter rivalry.

Netanyahu also lashed out at Abbas, accusing him of supporting attacks on Jerusalem, the eastern sector of which was occupied by Israel during the 1967 Six Day War and later annexed in a move never recognized by the international community.

“Jerusalem is coming under attack by terror... and this attack is supported by the chairman of the Palestinian Authority, Abu Mazen (Abbas) who glorifies the murderers while embracing the organization to which the terrorists belong: Hamas,” Netanyahu said.

It was the second time Netanyahu had directly accused Abbas. On Wednesday evening he released a statement accusing the Palestinian leader of “inciting a terrorist attack in Jerusalem.”

He was referring to Abbas’s remarks on October 17 in which he called on Palestinians to prevent nationalist Israeli Jews from visiting the Al-Aqsa mosque compound “by all means” following a series of clashes at the site, which is holy to both Muslims and Jews.

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