On Sunday, a gun-wielding Palestinian opened fired at a bus in Jerusalem not far from the Western Wall, injuring eight—including five Americans. Nadav Shragai comments on the attack’s significance:
An attack near the Western Wall is a strategic one that endangers not only the lives of Jewish citizens and worshippers but the very Jewish presence in the Old City.
Every year, about 10 million Jews visit the holy site, which can be accessed through three points: David Street (through the market), Hagai Street (through the Musrara neighborhood and Damascus Gate), and public transport that passes through Dung Gate, which is where the shooting occurred. A terror attack near the Western Wall was intended to undermine the Jewish presence in the Old City. As such, the response must be strategic.
In recent years, Jerusalem, the Temple Mount, and the Western Wall have been used to unite Arab Israelis and Arabs in the West Bank, Gaza, and east Jerusalem for a common goal: to push the Jews out of Jerusalem, its holy sites, and Israel in general. Sometimes it is done through organized terrorism. Other times, it’s lone terrorists. The method might change, but not the goal.