The answer to my previous post was supplied in today’s dreadful terrorist attacks. Two young people were murdered and several others injured in two separate attacks today: one in Tel Aviv and one in Gush Etzion.
In the first incident, a terrorist attacked a soldier, Almog Shiloni, aged 20, at Tel Aviv’s Hagana train station, trying to steal his rifle. When the soldier resisted the terrorist stabbed the soldier, critically injuring him. A heroic bystander chased the terrorist while alerting the police, thereby preventing a much larger casualty count.
Gilad Goldman, 59, said he sprang into action after seeing a man assault Almog Shimoni near the Hahagana train station in South Tel Aviv Monday afternoon, he told Channel 2 in an interview from a hospital bed Monday evening.
“It all happened so fast. We were driving by when I saw him trying to stab the soldier and grab his gun, so I got out of the car and punched him. He dropped the knife and ran away,” Goldman said.
Kobi Langleben, who was in the car with Goldman, pursued the terrorist after he began to run away. “I was chasing him in my car, yelling ‘Terrorist,’ and I called the police,” he said in the same interview.
When asked if he was afraid to confront the terrorist, Goldman responded: “My wife is mad at me; she says that I can’t do things like this at my age, but I guess it’s something in your soul.
“I’m 59 years old, but I’m no hero or anything,” he insisted.
I disagree. Goldman is indeed a hero (even if he is scared of his wife).
Sadly, after many hours struggling to save Almog Shiloni’s life, the doctors were forced to pronounce him dead.
Shiloni was reportedly stabbed numerous times, including in the upper body and waist, as he tried to fight off his attacker. The attacker proceeded to try and escape from the scene towards Levanda Street as he was pursued by security forces and citizens.
The terrorist has been identified as Nur al-Din Abu Hashiya, an 18-year-old from Shechem (Nablus) in Samaria who had illegally entered into sovereign Israeli territory. Police spokesperson Luba Samri said “it was apparently an attack with nationalist motives. The suspect is a resident of Shechem.”
Almog’s twin brother Sahar eulogised him:
Sahar, born five minutes before his brother, said, “Almog was a strong kid, always smiling. We celebrated our 20th birthday a month ago in a Jerusalem pub. We were sitting with our girlfriends, we laughed. I told him I hoped everything he wanted would come true. He wanted to marry Noy, his girlfriend for the last two and a half years. There are no words for how I feel right now. I can’t comprehend it. His bag is here with us and I keep looking to see if maybe he’s coming back.”
May Hashem avenge his blood and may his family be comforted amongst the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.
Unsurprisingly, Hamas lauded the terrorist attack, calling it a response to the killing of the Arab rioter in Kafr Kana over the weekend. But Hamas don’t need to search for excuses. If they can’t find one, they’ll make it up. The fact that we Jews are alive and living in Israel is pretext enough for them.
A few hours later, another car attack followed by a stabbing took place at Alon Shvut junction, not far from where the three teens were kidnapped in June. In this incident, Dalia Lemkus, age 26 from Tekoa, was murdered and two other people injured by Maher Hamdi al-Hashalmoun from Hebron:
Police said the attack occurred at a bus stop at the entrance to the Etzion bloc settlement south of Jerusalem around 4:45 p.m.
The victim, 26-year-old Dalia Lemkus from Tekoa, was stabbed in her neck, and declared dead at the site. Lemkus was the daughter of South African immigrants to Israel.
The stabber was shot by a guard on duty at the site, police said. Initial reports indicated he was killed, but later reports dispelled that claim. Magen David Adom said he was in serious condition.
A 26-year-old man suffered light-moderate injuries, and a man in his 50s was lightly hurt in the incident. Their names were not released.
Channel 2 reported that the older man was driving by the scene when he saw the attack in progress, then stopped his car and wrestled with the attacker before suffering an injury to his face.
Security camera footage of the attack released soon after appeared to show a minivan ram into a bus stop, striking at least one bystander. The stabber then comes into the frame, and stands over the victim, apparently stabbing her several times.
He then crosses the street and fights a male driver, before a security guard runs up, fires at the terrorist, and chases him up the street.
The terrorist was identified as Maher Hamdi al-Hashalmoun from Hebron.
Hashalmoun, affiliated with Islamic Jihad, spent four and a half years in Israeli custody for throwing Molotov cocktails, and was released five years ago.
Reports indicated that the terrorist first tried to ram into the three people waiting at the stop with his Subaru minivan. When he failed to run them over, he left his car and attacked them with a knife.
Once again, courageous bystanders took action before the police managed to get to the scene.
Yishay Katz, one of the first people at the scene of the deadly knife attack in Gush Etzion on Monday evening, wrestled with the terrorist and sustained wounds in his efforts to overpower him.
Katz initially spotted the terrorist after he had already stabbed and killed Dalia Lemkus, and managed to overcome him with the help of other passers-by. During the scuffle, Katz was lightly wounded and was later hospitalized at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem
Kol hakavod to Katz who risked his life to save others. My heart goes out to the family of Dalia Lemkus HY’D. May Hashem avenge her blood and may her family be comforted amongst the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.
While it is gratifying that the State Department condemned today’s stabbing attacks, it is interesting to note that this condemnation, as with all other previous condemnations, condemns the attack but not the attackers or their motivators, i.e. the Palestinian Authority, under the auspices of President-for-life Mahmoud Abbas. And as always, the calls for restraint, easing of tensions, and equating the two sides:
“We strongly condemn the stabbing today in the West Bank, and we deeply regret the loss of life,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, in a statement made before soldier Almog Shiloni, who was critically wounded in the Tel Aviv attack, died of his wounds.
“Our condolences go out to the victim’s family. It is absolutely critical that parties take every possible measure to protect civilians and de-escalate tensions,” added Psaki.
Reader Ealha, commenting on my previous post, made a couple of interesting points:
Notice, there is no significant, if any, “international community” response or condemnation of the attacks or of Abbas’ encouragement of the violence.
Indeed, whenever Israel is perceived to have committed some wrongdoing, Israel itself and its leaders are widely and loudly condemned. But when the Palestinians are the perpetrators, the act is (maybe) condemned, while the real perpetrators are given a free pass. Until the Palestinians are held to the same standards as the rest of the civilized world there is not a chance in hell of peace ever breaking out between them and Israel.
Ealha also had some good ideas for how to deal with this upsurge in violence:
… violent protesters should risk forfeiture of citizenship and deportation and parental civil and criminal responsibility for child neglect. Notice how Hamas is cooperating in controlling the violence coming from within Gaza and how Hezbollah has not attacked Israel – yet. So, let’s give war a chance. They should be careful for what they wish for…
Excellent ideas. Sadly I doubt that our government has the intestinal fortitude to go through with such innovative suggestions. I rather fear that it will be the same old merry-go-round. Already yesterday, in the wake of the weekend’s violence across the country, I heard analysts on Israel Radio Reshet Bet talking about Netanyahu’s difficulty in taking meaningful action against the Palestinian rioters “for fear of the world’s reaction”.
If we and our leaders don’t learn to stand up to “world reaction” which is always going to be against us and our right to self-defence, no matter how much they protest that “Israel has the right to defend itself… BUT…”, then we don’t deserve the right to self-defence.
We Jews have been the world’s whipping boy for nigh on 2,000 years. We ought to be used to it by now. We must stop trying to curry favour with the world and simply take the actions necessary to ensure our safety and survival, the world be damned.