High State of Alert Fails to Stop Arab’s Fatal Stabbing of Tourist

A German tourist was stabbed to death and another woman seriously wounded Wednesday afternoon in an attack by a young Arab at the Damascus Gate in the Old City.

Dozens of Arab youths were rounded up by police for questioning.

The assault occurred despite a state of high alert among security forces in Jerusalem, following intelligence reports that radical Palestinian factions planned violent incidents to try to stop a Middle East peace conference from taking place this month.

National Police Commissioner Ya’acov Terner said that even with extensive police precautions, “we cannot cover every square meter of the Damascus Gate area and every coffee shop.”

The surviving victim, who Terner said is 22 years old, was attacked while sitting in a coffee shop with her boyfriend. She was rushed to a hospital, where she underwent surgery for a deep stab wound in the lower abdomen.

The other woman, who died of her wounds, was assaulted moments later in the open. An Arab shopkeeper said it took seven to eight minutes before an ambulance arrived, during which the woman bled profusely from the stomach.

The names of the women were not released.

Nor was that of a third woman, whose body was found near Mount Herzl in western Jerusalem, also on Wednesday afternoon. She apparently died from a blow to the head, but police said they found no evidence to indicate foul play.

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