Special to WorldTribune.com
Israeli officials have urged citizens to carry licensed weapons as a campaign of violence incited by political and religious leaders in the Palestinian territories has worsened.
“Possessing weapons increases the confidence of residents, who know that in addition to police there are many people who are not afraid to intervene,” Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barakat, who displayed his own firearm, said.
The Palestinian Authority and Hamas have been prominent in the call for Palestinians to attack Jews, with the most common attacks being stabbings. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh called on Arabs to take part in the “intifada” throughout Israel.
According to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), the imam of the Al Abrar Mosque in the Gaza city of Rafah is seen on video brandishing a dagger while urging Palestinians to murder Jews.
In the video, Sheikh Muhammad Sallah “Abu Rajab” praised the attacks on Jews and said they had resulted in a de-facto “curfew” for Israelis who have become too afraid to leave their homes.
“Today, we realize why the [Jews] build walls. They do not do this to stop missiles, but to prevent the slitting of their throats,” Abu Rajab said.
“Today, we have declared a curfew [in Israel]. Listen to what the Jews are saying to one another: Stay at home, or go outside to your death. They have no alternative. Oh men of the West Bank, the first phase of the operation requires stabbing in order to bring about a curfew.”
“Form stabbing quads,” Abu Rajab urged. “We don’t want just a single stabber. Oh young men of the West Bank: Attack in threes and fours. Some should restrain the victim, while others attack him with axes and butcher knives. Do not fear what will be said about you. Oh men of the West Bank, next time, attack in a group of three, four, or five. Attack them in groups. Cut them into body parts.”