The first week of February will go down in history as a turning point in which new, more sophisticated and more dangerous forces joined the intifada. Three terrorists — Ahmad Zakarna, Muhammad Kamil and Ahmad Abu al-Rub — from the Qabatiya refugee camp near Jenin, carried out the Feb. 3 terror attack near Damascus Gate in Jerusalem. The three men were able to upset the profile of the typical assailant that the Israeli defense establishment has devised since the start of the intifada. This occurred shortly after a Palestinian police officer, Amjad a-Sukari, carried out a shooting attack Jan. 31. He, too, did not match the profile of your typical assailant.
We are no longer talking about young terrorists indoctrinated by incitement from Palestinian television and social networks, who, on the spur of the moment, decide to mount a stabbing attack. It is believed that the young cell from Qabatiya was planning a multi-casualty attack. The three-man cell arrived in Jerusalem armed with guns, makeshift explosives (pipe bombs) and knives. They aroused the suspicion of the Israeli border police, and when asked to show their IDs, they attacked the two policewomen. In the exchange that ensued, Hadar Cohen, 19, a border police officer, who managed to fire at one of the terrorists before collapsing, was killed. Her colleague was seriously wounded.