3 Israelis, an American and a Palestinian killed in 2 attacks across Israel today

After a “hiatus” in the wave of terror, in which we witnessed “only” rock and stone throwing and the odd stabbing attempt, today saw a series of vicious terror attacks which left 3 Israelis, one Jewish US citizen and a Palestinian civilian murdered in cold blood.

The first attack occurred in south Tel Aviv, in a makeshift synagogue where lunchtime Mincha (afternoon) prayers were being held. A terrorist managed to burst his way in, stabbing to death 2 Israelis and injuring a few more.

Two people have been killed and one other person was injured in a stabbing attack at a synagogue in south Tel Aviv.

The scene of the Tel Aviv synagogue stabbing

The two victims were later identified as Yisayev Aharon, a 32-year-old from Holon, and Aviram Reuven, a 51-year-old from Ramle.

The injured victim, a man in his 50s, is in moderate condition. He was treated at the scene by Magen David Adom paramedics before being evacuated to Ichilov hospital.

The Arab terrorist who carried out the attack was tackled and held by a civilian until police arrived to arrest him, and sustained light injuries in the course of being captured.

He has been identified as a 36-year-old resident of Dura, close to Hevron, with no previous criminal record and was given a legal work permit to be in Tel Aviv following security checks – he worked at a restaurant in Yafo, a suburb of Tel Aviv to the south.

The attack took place at a synagogue in the Panorama building along Ben Tzvi Street in southern Tel Aviv, as afternoon prayers were being conducted.

One of the worshippers described the synagogue attack:

Shimon Vaknin was attending afternoon prayers along with 20-30 other people when one of the victims staggered into the room and collapsed.

“We were praying the Mincha [afternoon] services,” he recalled. “In the middle of the prayers, suddenly we saw a man fall down wounded at the entrance to the synagogue and behind him a man with a knife who was trying to get inside.

“Someone shouted ‘there’s a terrorist!’” he said.

As some of the worshipers tried to assist the injured man, the rest quickly closed the doors to the room, he said.

“We managed to close the doors and he tried to force them open. If he would have managed to get inside he would have slaughtered the worshipers. We used all of our strength to not let him inside and then he went on to the nearby shops to try and hurt someone there.

After a few minutes, the men armed themselves with bars and left the room, looking for the stabber. As they emerged, they saw another man on the floor, also badly injured. He later died at the hospital.

And those brave heroes of Hamas?

The Palestinian Hamas group said it welcomed the attack. “We welcome the heroic operation in Tel Aviv that killed two people,” read a tweet on the Gaza-based group’s official account read. “We call on the Palestinians to continue such activities.”

Aharon Yisayev Hy’d, one of the victims, was described as a “good-hearted man, murdered by an evil terrorist”:

The two Jewish victims who were stabbed to death at prayer in the Panorama building in southern Tel Aviv on Thursday, in an attack that left a third Jews moderately wounded, have been named as Yisayev Aharon, a 32-year-old from Holon, and Aviram Reuven, a 51-year-old from Ramle.

Aharon Yisayev Hy’d, murdered in a Tel Aviv synagogue by a Palestinian terrorist

Aharon previously returned to Judaism and became observant, moving from Tel Aviv to Holon where he was a member of the local haredi community.

“He was a good hearted man, a true righteous person who went out from mincha (afternoon) prayers and was murdered in cold blood by an evil and cruel terrorist,” said a friend of the victim.

Aharon leaves behind his wife and five children who study at religious educational institutions in Holon.

The date of his funeral has not yet been determined.

What a terrible loss for the family and for the Jewish people! May the families of both victims be comforted amongst the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem and may they know no more sorrow. ברוך דיין אמת.

Let it be noted that the murderer was in Israel legally, having no criminal or terrorist background. He had a work permit and held a job at a local restaurant.  This marks the continuation of a troubling trend of Arabs who work legally in Israel and then go on to commit heinous terrorist attacks, murdering innocent Israelis on the most spurious of motives.

A very troubling trend was highlighted by the stabbing attack in Tel Aviv, as the restaurant worker was far from the first Arab worker to manipulatively capitalize on his place of employment and access to Jewish areas to launch lethal attacks.

The list of similar incidents is seemingly endless, even just looking back other the span of a year or two.

Israel is caught between a rock and a hard place on this issue. If we deny these Arabs the chance to work in Israel and earn a decent living then we run the chance of them becoming radicalized out of frustration or hate. But if we do give them work permits we run the chance of being murdered. Even if the murderers are only a small number of the total involved, the risk might become too high for Israel to swallow. And then we’ll be accused of apartheid of course…

The second attack took place in two parts near Alon Shvut in Gush Etzion. A Paletsinian terrorist overtook a long traffic jam on the wrong side of the road and opened fire with an automatic weapon, hitting two vehicles. When he crashed into a vehicle, he got out of the car and shot directly into a tourist minibus as well as other cars:

Rafi Aba, a volunteer with Magen David Adom (MDA) and ZAKA, was at Gush Etzion in Judea on Thursday during the shooting and car attack which left two Jews and an Arab dead, and seven others wounded.

Aba told Arutz Sheva about the attack, saying, “I work at a restaurant in Gush Etzion Junction, and during a switching of shifts suddenly we heard gunfire.”

“At the start we thought it was fire from the shooting range, but then we understood it was too close. Suddenly we heard the roar of a car’s engine traveling at a high speed, and then immediately afterwards a crash.”

“The terrorist fired towards cars that were driving, one of the cars was a transport for people from abroad, and one of them unfortunately was killed,” he said, giving confirmation to reports that US citizens were among the wounded.

Aba noted that the terrorists “apparently fired at another car at another site, but that I didn’t see. Since I’m a MDA volunteer and a ZAKA volunteer, I immediately went to the transport vehicle and treated the wounded.”

“Every day there are traffic jams on this road that leads from Alon Shevut to Gush (Etzion) Junction, what happened is that the terrorist just bypassed (other vehicles) and shot at the cars that were in the jam. I saw the uzi machine gun he fired with.”

“After he crashed into cars people went out towards him (the terrorist) with drawn weapons and he got out of the car with his hands on his head, without any wounds unfortunately. The terrorist was driving in a car with Israeli license plates,” concluded the volunteer.

One of the victims was named as Yaakov Don Hy’d from Alon Shvut. There is a moving tribute to him (in Hebrew) on Facebook:

Yaakov Don Hy’d, murdered by a Palestinian terrorist near Alon Shvut

From comments on the Muqata’s facebook page we learn that Yaakov Don Hy’d was a talented teacher and youth leader, and his death is a huge loss to the community of Alon Shvut and to Israel’s education system. יהי זכרו ברוך. ברוך דיין אמת

In more dreadful news, one of the victims in the Alon Shvut attack is an 18-year old American yeshiva student, in Israel for a year of study.

One of the five people murdered in Thursday’s terrorist attacks is an American student, 18, who has been studying at a yeshiva in Beit Shemesh.

He was in Israel on his own.

ZAKA emergency services have contacted his family in the US, as well as a relative in Israel who is to identify his body.

The Beit Shemesh Municipality announced that it is “shocked and grief-stricken by the murder of the yeshiva student, in the shooting attack at Guush Etzion.”

The students are in Israel as part of a program in which youths volunteer for 9.5 months, studying at yeshiva during the day and volunteering in the evenings.

The young student has now been named as Ezra Schwartz Hy’d from Massachutssetts:

Ezra Schwartz Hy’d, murdered near Alon Shvut by a Palestinian terrorist

Ezra Schwartz, an American student at the Ashreinu Yeshiva in Beit Shemesh originally from Massachusetts, is named as a victim of a shooting attack near the West Bank settlement of Alon Shvut, in the Etzion Bloc.

Along with a group of his friends, Schwartz, 18, was on his way to deliver food and candy to IDF soldiers in the area when he was shot.

Several of Schwartz’s friends are hospitalized in the Shaare Tzedek hospital with light wounds.

The students are in Israel as part of a program in which youths volunteer for 9.5 months, studying at yeshiva during the day and volunteering in the evenings.

It seems the height of injustice to be killed while performing a mitzva! But who are we to demand accounting from G-d?

May the parents and family of young Ezra Schwartz Hy’d be comforted amongst the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem. \

The third victim was a Palestinian, cut down by one of his co-religionists who did not care who was killed as long as he could satisfy his blood lust. My sympathies and condolences to the family of this victim too.

May the families of all today’s victims know no more sorrow.

Israel’s political leaders all expressed their shock and sorrow at today’s attacks and sent condolences to the victims’ families.  They also expressed similar sentiments to Binyamin Netanyahu who said that the same radical Islam behind the Paris attacks also stands behind the attacks in Israel.

But will the world agree? Or will they once again condemn Israel for the arrests, administrative detentions or even military action taken against the terrorists even while they themselves take the exact same actions and more?

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2 Responses to 3 Israelis, an American and a Palestinian killed in 2 attacks across Israel today

  1. Reality says:

    What an awful day.I want to know where are the buildings around the world with the Israeli flag on them showing their solidarity with Israel?All week I’ve heard nothing but the massacers in France.Don’t get me wrong,I am in no way belittling them,but I expect empathy for us from them.
    ברוך דיין אמת
    May all the families be comforted amongst the mourners of Zion

  2. Pingback: Palestinian terrorist murders Israeli woman in her home in Otniel | Anne's Opinions

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