Here is another roundup of recent terror attacks that you might not have heard about on your local news unless you live in Israel. And even in Israel, one attack runs into another and it’s getting hard to keep track. As previously, this is by no means an exhaustive list and I’m sure I’ve omitted several incidents.
Almost a year after Palestinian terrorists killed four worshipers and a policeman at a synagogue in Jerusalem, Rabbi Haim (Howie) Yehiel Rothman, who was critically injured in the attack, died from his injuries Saturday evening.
Rothman had been in a coma ever since two East Jerusalem terrorists armed with a gun, axes and meat cleavers stormed the Bnei Torah Synagogue in Har Nof last November and began attacking worshipers.
Rothman, 55, suffered a number of blows to his head from an axe.
Toronto-born Rothman, who made aliya 30 years ago, is survived by his wife and 10 children. He was being laid to rest at 10 p.m. Saturday night at Jerusalem’s Givat Shaul cemetery. Thousands of Israelis joined the funeral procession to the cemetery.
“He was one of the most special people in our community who always had a smile on his face,” a member of the Bnei Torah Synagogue told Israeli daily Yisrael Hayom.
“He was so loved by everyone in the community, and his death represents another blow to the community that was broken almost a year ago.”
What a terrible loss to his family, his community and to Am Yisrael. May his family be comforted amongst the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem and may his memory be for a blessing. ברוך דיין אמת
In a terror attack which got very little coverage in Israel, let alone abroad, a 3-year old Israeli girl was badly burned and her family also injured in a firebombing on the way to Bet El. Read this horrifying account of the attack:
Uriel and Sigal Sofer, residents of Nitzan in the south, were traveling in their family car last Friday afternoon, to spend the Sabbath in Beit El, north of Jerusalem. The parents sat in the front and their children, Tair, 11, Matan, 10, and Tahel, 3, were in the back. Two other daughters took a bus to Beit El.
“Friday at about five o’clock,” recounted Sigal, “we were about one kilometer from Beit El, on the way to spend the Sabbath at my husband’s sister’s home, and right before the bend, two murderers awaited us on the hill. Their faces were covered, my husband got a glimpse of them. As we passed, they threw two firebombs at the car.
“The firebombs smashed the rear windshield where Tahel was sitting. They fell on Tahel’s seat and immediately, everything was burning. Tahel’s dress, Tahel herself, her hair. The two children who were sitting next to her were also a little burned. My husband kept going a little to get away, and we stopped the car. It was frightening to see Tahel and everything else burning, and we were afraid that the car would also catch fire and explode. We got out of the car and pulled the seat out and we took her clothes off and put out the fire. We checked that Matan and Tair were also OK. We put out the fire on Tahel and seconds later the military was there and started to take care of Tahel.
“It’s such a nightmare, to see your child burning. For children to see their sister burning. It’s very frightening. All we wanted to do is to put out the fire.”
Sigal was attacked by terrorists in 2004, as well, in Gush Katif. She was stabbed multiple times but survived.
If you haven’t seen this story on your local media while being bombarded with stories of Israeli “excessive force”, challenge the media about their bias.
Jews are targets of antisemitic terrorism not only in Israel, but worldwide. On Shabbat, 3 Jews were stabbed outside a synagogue in Marseilles:
According to French daily Le Figaro, the knife-wielding assailant was drunk and could be heard shouting anti-Semitic slurs at the time of the assault.
According to the report, the assailant is mentally unstable and is known to local police. He was arrested near the scene shortly after the attack.
One of the victims sustained serious injuries from multiple stab wounds to the abdomen. A police source told the paper his injuries were not life threatening.
He may have been drunk but, as the Hebrew saying goes, one’s true nature comes out when under the influence. Thankfully this attack didn’t end worse. Refuah shlema to the victims.
In case we hadn’t got the message already, ISIS issued a Hebrew-language video threatening to kill all Israeli Jews:
IS’s official Syrian branch posted the 16-minute clip, entitled Breaking Of Borders And Slaughtering Of Jews, that depicts a masked militant, dressed in military outfit and holding a rifle, making threats in Hebrew with an Arabic accent. It is the first time that one of the now infamous IS videos has directly addressed Israelis in the Hebrew language.
“We will enter al-Aqsa mosque [Islam’s third holiest site located in Jerusalem’s contested Temple Mount compound] as conquerors, using our cars as bombs to strike the Jewish ramparts,” he said. “”We assure you that soon not even a single Jew will remain in Jerusalem and Palestine.”
“We will move to eradicate the disease of the Jewish people worldwide,” he continued.
Sadly the video is not nearly as funny as the Hamas video produced during Operation Protective Edge last summer which prompted numerous Israeli spoofs.
Chillingly, a Gaza preacher called for a return to suicide bombings in an incendiary sermon on Friday. He even waved a suicide vest for added emphasis. Another Gazan Imam in Rafah, in a raving speech called for Muslims to stab the Jews:
Brandishing a knife of his own during the speech at the Al-Abrar Mosque, Sheikh Muhammad Sallah called on Palestinians in East Jerusalem and the West Bank to “attack in threes and fours” and “cut them into body parts.”
“My brother in the West Bank: Stab! My brother is the West Bank: Stab the myths of the Talmud in their minds! My brother in the West Bank: Stab the myths about the temple in their hearts!” Sallah cries out while wielding the knife and making stabbing motions, according to a translation made available by the Middle East Media Research Institute which also provided a video of the sermon.
Watch the video if you have the stomach for it:
The natural result of sermons like the above have produced yet more knifing and car-ramming attacks over the past few days. In a knife attack outside Ariel on Sunday, a 25-year old Israeli was stabbed in the chest. (As a personal aside, the young man is from Petach Tikva and his parents go to our shul). Hebrew Ynet has a report from the young man’s brother how the victim courageously managed to fight off the attacker. He describes how Ohad (the victim) was jumped on by the terrorist and stabbed, yet he managed to fight him off with punches and kicks (“he is a brave paratrooper” said the brother), and only when he managed to reach for his gun did the terrorist flee. He was later caught by the security forces. Thank G-d Ohad’s injuries are not life-threatening. We wish him refuah shlema.
In another rock-and stabbing attack earlier on Sunday an Israeli man had a miraculous escape:
The attack occurred near the settlement of Metzad, east of the Etzion settlement bloc south of Jerusalem.
The victim, a middle-aged man, sustained moderate injuries to his upper body and was taken to Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital, according to initial reports.
He was stabbed after exiting his car when it was pelted with stones, the Israeli army said.
“Initial reports suggest that moments before the attack the Israeli exited his car due to rocks hurled at the road,” the army said in a statement. “The Palestinian then attacked the Israeli, stabbing him in his chest.”
Troops launched a search for the stabber, who fled the scene. Some reports suggested there may have been more than one attacker, and they were dressed as ultra-Orthodox Jews,
The victim, Yisrael Ben Aharon, later described his ordeal:
Ben-Aharon gave a literal and figurative blow-by-blow of the two-pronged attack, which took place in Gush Etzion, near the settlement of Metzad. Just before 10 a.m., Ben-Aharon was driving towards Metzad, when a tow-truck purposely blocked his way. “Suddenly I saw this terrorist running towards me,” he said, describing the event as best as he could under the circumstances.
And then he threw a rock on my front windshield. So I drove in reverse, but then he came up on my left side and threw a rock right in my face. He then tried to come up to me on the right, so I tried to escape, but I had difficulty doing so. And then he came up and started to stab me. I managed to keep the knife at bay for a moment to try and lift myself up from my seat to reach my gun, and [that’s when] he stabbed me in the chest. I hit him hard on the arm… while cocking [my gun]. I managed to hurt him, and he lay on the ground. I was in shock. My stomach hurt. I didn’t realize he had managed to stab me, but I didn’t want to lose consciousness. Then I saw him lying on the floor, and I shot him twice in the legs so he wouldn’t move.
Baruch Hashem his injuries are not worse. It is chilling to think what might have been.
On Monday an IDF soldier was severely injured in a stabbing attack near Kiryat Arba. Once again, thanks to G-d and the excellent trauma treatment he received at the scene and in hospital, his status has now stabilized.
The government has been struggling to find a way to fight this seemingly unorganized terror wave in a way that will keep Israelis secure and make them feel secure while at the same time not inflaming the Palestinian street even more than they are already.
One idea that has been mooted is to revoke Israeli citizenship from those Palestinians engaged in terrorism. In an outrageous interference in Israel’s domestic and security affairs the US Administration has expressed its “concern” over such a proposal and warned Israel against such a move:
The Obama administration on Monday hurried to express its opposition to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s tentative talk of revoking the permanent residency status of tens of thousands of Arabs living in East Jerusalem.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said that, as far as the US government knows, Israel is not actively considering such a move. But if it were, he said, “it would obviously be of some concern to us.” The US, Earnest went on, reiterates the “importance of all sides avoiding provocative actions and rhetoric.”
Netanyahu discussed the idea in vague terms at a Knesset committee meeting earlier Monday, as part of possible measures aimed at halting an ongoing spate of terror attacks.
Whether the decision is correct or not, and whether it would be provocative or not, it is none of the US’s business! Israel should tell the US in no uncertain terms to butt out of our affairs. It is not clear to me at all why it should “obviously concern” the US.
One place where John Kerry did succeed in effecting a compromise was on the Temple Mount, where Israel agreed to Jordan’s request to install security cameras. Unsurprisingly, the Palestinians themselves objected! Makes sense, after all they are the ones with something to hide, not Israel:
Hamas and other radical Palestinian groups rejected the agreement, which calls for installing 24-hour surveillance cameras at the Temple Mount, holy to Muslims as the site of al-Aksa Mosque and the golden Dome of the Rock.
In statements issued from the Gaza Strip, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other groups called for escalating attacks on Israel, alleging that Kerry’s efforts were designed to “thwart the Intifada.”
Jordan welcomed Netanyahu’s assertion that the status quo on the Temple Mount would be preserved. Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh described Netanyahu’s remarks as a “step in the right direction.”
However, PA Foreign Minister Riad Malki was dismissive of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s statements that he is committed to preserving the status quo at the Temple Mount.
And in their usual incitement and slander he continued:
“Netanyahu is seeking to change the status quo at al-Aksa Mosque, which has been in effect since 1967,” a statement from the office said.
It also criticized the Jordan-Israel deal for excluding any role for the Palestinians at the Temple Mount. “The Palestinians and their leadership must be a major part in any arrangements to ensure and defend the historic status of al-Aksa Mosque,” the statement said.
“Ignoring a Palestinian role will weaken the prospects of any agreement.”
In other words: “Nice little Temple Mount you’ve got there. Shame if something would happen to it”. The Mafia couldn’t have said it better.
Today the Waqf tried to preempt matters by installing their own cameras. However this plan was thwarted by the Israeli police. Just as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if their cameras were pre-loaded with films by Pallywood.
And for a final straw to complete my fed-up mood, in reaction to this terror wave against Israel, 343 UK professors have chosen to publicise an anti-Israel BDS ad promoting a boycott of Israel:
Simon Johnson, the Chief Executive of the Jewish Leadership Council, blasted the professors as being out of touch with academia – and supporting a crackdown on academic freedom.
“It is ironic that the signatories in tomorrow’s Guardian have ignored Universities UK, who earlier this year invested time and effort to oppose academic boycotts,” Johnson stated Monday night. “They have also ignored their colleagues from over 30 universities who have actively engaged, through BIRAX, in scientific cooperation with researchers in Israeli institutions – as well as the calls of the 150 writers, artists and musicians who last week promoted the benefits of continuing dialogue with Israel.”
Johnson is correct in accusing these academics of double standards but wrong when he assumes they want to improve the situation in the Middle East. They want the destruction of Israel, whether or not they admit that fact to themselves. In this manner, they are barely different from the knife-wielders and suicide bombers so encouraged by incendiary preachers.