Last night, as Simchat Torah ended, we were informed of the good news that the 5-man Hamas terrorist cell which murdered Naama and Rabbi Eitam Henkin Hy’d were caught by the Shabak (aka the Shin Bet, aka Israel’s domestic security agency).
A statement from the Shin Bet said it had carried out the operation in conjunction with the Israel Defense Forces and Israel Police. The suspects had been taken in for questioning by the Shin Bet and had admitted their involvement in the attack, the statement said.
The five cell members are Hamas members from Nablus, the Shin Bet said.
The investigation has so far revealed that the five cell members each had a specific role, the Shin Bet said. One person was responsible for clearing the way for the car that contained a driver and two gunmen. The fifth member of the cell, its commander, was not in the car.
A number of other people were arrested on suspicion of providing assistance to the cell, the Shin Bet said.
The video below shows the arrest of one of the suspects at a hospital in Nablus, Channel 2 television said Monday night. The TV report said the attack was likely curtailed when one of the five was accidentally shot by another cell member and the gunmen sped away in order to seek medical assistance for him. That may be why the four Henkin children — aged 9, 7, 4 and 4 months — were not harmed.
This is a much more likely reason for their emerging physically unscathed (their psychological trauma must be indescribable) than the disgraceful opinion of Israeli Channel 2 News reporter Roni Daniel who posited that the terrorists spared the children because they wanted to show they’re not “real terrorists” like those who burned the Dawabshe family, but rather they “only” wanted to target settlers.
With this absurd and outrageous statement, Daniel brought Channel 2 News down to the level of the biased BBC, CNN and all the other international media whom we love to complain about. He managed to defend bloodthirsty terrorists, skirted the edge of a blood libel by hinting that the arsonists in Duma were Jews although no perpetrator has been found or arrested, and worst of all he became an enabler of the murder of settlers as if they’re not quite human – because, as he implied, murdering settlers is somehow acceptable. Watch this disgrace here:
The ToI article continues:
The Shin Bet named the cell leader as Ragheb Ahmad Muhammad Aliwi, a previously jailed Hamas fighter from Nablus, who recruited the other four terrorists, instructed them how to carry out attacks and provided them with their weapons.
The other four were named as Yahia Muhammad Naif Abdullah Hajj Hamad, who carried out the shooting itself; Samir Zahir Ibrahim Kusah, the driver of the car who is linked to previous terror attacks; Karem Lufti Fatahi Razek, the gunman who was wounded by gunfire from one of his fellow cell members during the attack; and Zir Ziad Jamal Amar, who cleared the way for the car to carry out the attack
Here is the video mentioned above of the arrest at the hospital:
Moving now to the second terror attack which occurred in the Old City, in the original video posted on Arutz Sheva we can clearly see local residents wandering by the attack, not lifting a finger to help the victims or stop the attack altogether. In the foreground, a bystander is calmly drinking from a can of soda despite the blood-curdling screams in the background. It didn’t occur to him to go and help, not even to yell to the murderer to stop, and certainly not to call the security services.
*** warning: graphic content might be disturbing ***
Now Adele Banita, the widow of Aharon Hy’d who was one of the victims, has recounted her terrifying ordeal, which was revoltingly exacerbated by the inhumane behaviour of the Arab onlookers. Adele told how she yelled for help, running with a knife in her back but the onlookers just laughed, spat in her face and told her to die:
Adele Banita, one of the victims of Saturday night’s terror attack in Jerusalem Old City, gave a harrowing account of how the deadly stabbing assault unfolded and how her cries for help were ignored as her husband lay fatally wounded on the floor and she herself was stabbed.
“I yelled ‘please help me!’ and they just spat at me,” said Banita of the surrounding Palestinian shopkeepers whom she said looked on and did nothing as Palestinian terrorist Muhannad Halabi attacked her and her family in an alleyway near Lion’s Gate in the Old City.
The Banitas’ two-year-old son was also lightly injured in the attack. Their infant girl was unharmed.
Banita said Palestinian youths who saw the attack laughed and cursed at her as she yelled for help.
She said that one of them slapped her and another laughed in her face and told her to “drop dead” when she told him she’d give him a million shekels if he helped her get away with her two babies.
“They saw that we were with two baby carriages,” she said.
Banita — stabbed, bleeding and losing consciousness fast — said she used her last ounces of energy to run toward security forces for help.
“I said ‘I’m hurt, my husband is stabbed and my two babies are there alone,’ then I lost consciousness,” she said.
Nehemia Lavi, 41, an Old City resident who heard the screams, came to help and he too was stabbed and killed by the terrorist.
Thanks to the video, those evil bystanders will be arrested and prosecuted according to Israeli officials. They should go to jail for at least as long as the terrorist would have gone if he hadn’t been shot at the scene.
After waiting for Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to condemn the murders, he finally issued a statement – condemning Israel’s killing of the murderers!! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (and no doubt again and again and again) – besides being a disgrace to humanity, let alone to his people, Abbas ought to be tried for war crimes, human rights abuses, and certainly he should be dropped as a “peace partner” like a hot brick. Ideally he ought to be ostracized by the entire Western world. But of course we know how that works…
Over Simchat Torah there was further violence, including throwing of rocks and petrol-bombs around the country, in which 3 Palestinian terrorists (who will be described as “youths” in the media, but even a child throwing a rock or a bomb is deadly) were killed by the IDF. Rockets were also fired by terrorists from Gaza, either falling short or in open fields.
In the wake of the huge upswing in anti-Jewish violence in Israel, thousands of Israelis took part last night in a protest outside the Prime Minister’s residence.
More than 10,000 people were in attendance, Channel 2 television said, while Israeli daily Haaretz said that the demonstration was a combination of protest and events to mark the end of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.
The protesters included Likud ministers Yariv Levin and Haim Katz, and MK Oren Hazan, as well as the head of Samaria Regional Council Yossi Dagan, who has been protesting at the site since Friday.
But protests took another, much livelier shape in the form of Second Hakafot – a second round of Simchat Torah dancing. These Second Hakafot have become a tradition in Israel to identify with our Diaspora brethren who are still celebrating. They are much more fun because they are accompanied by live music, something forbidden to the Orthodox on Shabbat and festivals. This year, in addition to the dancing in almost every town around the country, hundreds took part in Second Hakafot at the site of the murder of the Henkins, davka to show that life goes on and that the terrorists will not keep us away from our homeland and Biblical heartland:
Similar Hakafot were held in the Old City at the site of the murder of Rabbi Nechemia Lavi and Aharon Benita:
The government’s response, meanwhile, has been the usual bluster and inaction. At the funeral for the Jerusalem stabbing victims, attended by thousands, President Rivlin urged Israelis not to give in and to continue visiting the Old City:
In his eulogy for Lavi, President Reuven Rivlin urged Israelis to continue to visit the Old City and Western Wall, where Banita was headed at the time of the stabbing, despite the violent attack.
“I grew up in Jerusalem, I was born here, and I was here when we were barred from going to the Western Wall,” said Rivlin. “I was a kid at the time when blowing a shofar at the Western Wall was grounds for arrest by the British. Those days will not return.”
“We cannot stop going to the Western Wall, the remnant of our temple,” he continued. “I urge the pilgrims — don’t forsake the Old City, we must march in the footsteps of Nehemia and Aharon and prove that they [the terrorists] will not harm our way of life.”
But of course, Jews are not allowed to pray on the Temple Mount, so in effect, the old days of the Mandate are still with us.
Binyamin Netanyahu said that he has deployed thousands of extra troops and police to cope with the surge in violence:
Convening his security cabinet Monday night amid a major escalation of the Palestinian conflict, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was sending thousands of additional police and soldiers into Jerusalem and West Bank areas in order to restore security for Israelis.
“We’ve added four battalions to the IDF deployment in Judea and Samaria and thousands of police in Jerusalem,” Netanyahu said, as he prepared to meet with his ministers and security chiefs for the second time in two days. “The police are going deep into (Arab East Jerusalem) neighborhoods as never before” to thwart demonstrations and arrest offenders, he said.
“We’ll destroy the homes of terrorists. We’re enabling forceful actions against stone throwers and those who throw petrol bombs,” he vowed. “This is necessary in order to preserve security for Israelis, on the roads and everywhere else.”
Netanyahu was to receive an update on the situation on the ground at the cabinet meeting Monday night, and the cabinet was expected to decide on further action to counter the violence. Among the measures planned by the prime minister are a widening of administrative detentions (arrest without trial), the expedited demolition of terrorists’ homes, and the boosting of security forces in flashpoint areas.
Police are planning to indict Palestinians in the Old City who did not respond to pleas for help from Adele Banita, who begged for assistance when she was stabbed and badly wounded, and her husband was stabbed to death, in the Old City on Saturday night.
Netanyahu held a four-hour security meeting Sunday evening on the recent uptick in violence.
At the end of the meeting, Netanyahu announced that he has instructed security forces to “fast-track the razing of terrorists’ homes, expand the use of administrative detention against Palestinian rioters, reinforce the presence of security forces in Jerusalem and the West Bank, and ban those who incite [to terror] from the Old City and the Temple Mount.”
Israel is “waging a fight to the death against Palestinian terror,” the prime minister said Sunday.
The additional troops and police are certainly a good thing, but razing terrorists’ homes is a useless bit of showmanship which does nothing but make martyrs and heroes of cowardly terrorists. Until the demolitions or house-sealings are carried out, months and even years can pass as the decision makes its tortuous way through the courts. Meanwhile the terrorists can portray themselves as victims of Israeli bullying, the international media pile on in anger, the UN gets involved, and.. hey presto – Israel has created a PR nightmare by its own hands.
I was gratified to find that Edgar Davidson, an Israeli blogger and political commentator, had the same opinion of house demolitions as I did, and he has put forth his objections in a very useful graphic (click to enlarge):
He quotes Caroline Glick’s excellent suggestions on how to combat the slaughter:
Rather than destroy their homes, Israel should adopt the US anti-narcotics policy of asset seizure.
All assets directly or indirectly tied to terrorists, including their homes and any other structure where they planned their crimes, and all remittances to them, should be seized and transferred to their victims, to do with what they will.
If Israel hands over the homes of the synagogue butchers to the 24 orphans of Rabbi Moshe Twersky, Rabbi Kalman Levine, Rabbi Aryeh Kupinsky and Rabbi Avraham Goldberg, not only will justice be served. The children’s inheritance of the homes of their fathers’ killers will send a clear and demoralizing message to other would-be killers.
Not only will their atrocities fail to remove the Jews from Israel. Every terrorist will contribute to the Zionist project by donating his home to the Jewish settlement enterprise.
To that end, the Knesset should pass a law permitting Israeli terror victims to sue the PA for actual and punitive damages in Israel courts. The sums awarded to the victims should be taken from the tax revenues Israel collects for the PA. The law should apply retroactively to all victims of Palestinian terror carried out since the establishment of the PA in May 1994.
Not only should the law permit Israeli terror victims to sue the PA. It should dictate actions the Justice Ministry must take to assist them in bringing suit.
Israel should also revoke citizenship and residency rights not only from terrorists themselves, but from those who enjoy citizenship and residency rights by dint of their relationship with the terrorists.
Wives who received Israeli residency or citizenship rights though marriage to terrorists should have their rights revoked, as should the children of the terrorists.
Glick’s article is especially relevant today as today’s headlines blared in triumph that the houses of the Har Nof massacre terrorist and the assailant of Yehuda Glick have been sealed or demolished – only a year after the atrocity was carried out. What kind of deterrent is that? As with children, the punishment must be swift and must be relevant. Justice delayed is justice denied, both for the plaintiff and for the defendant.
Caroline Glick’s prescription is as relevant today as when it was written almost a year ago:
Today Israel is powerless to influence the hearts of our Arab neighbors. But we can influence their minds. We can deter them from attacking us.
The actions set forth above: asset seizure, revenue seizure and citizenship/residency abrogation for terrorists and their dependents are steps that Israel can take today, despite the hostile international climate.
If the government and Knesset adopt these measures, they will rectify some of the damage Israel has inflicted on itself by showing the Palestinians over two decades that they will be rewarded for their aggression.
If our leaders fail to take these or similar actions, and suffice with complaining about incitement, their condemnations of the murder of Jews will ring as hollow as those sounded by the BBC, Obama and Abbas.
Netanyahu et al – are you listening?