This is a really depressing start to the week. It just doesn’t stop. Last night (Saturday night) a Palestinian terrorist stabbed 4 people, including a 13 year old girl, seriously injuring them, in the southern city of Kiryat Gat.
Four people were wounded in the attack: A 51-year-old man, a 56-year-old woman, a 44-year-old woman, and a 13-year-old girl.
All were treated at the scene and evacuated to nearby hospitals in stable condition.
The teenage girl recounted her ordeal:
Liel Yotko, the 13-year-old girl injured in the terror stabbing in Kiryat Gat on Saturday night, recounted to Channel 2 on Sunday the harrowing moments of the attack.
Four people, including Yotko, were injured when a Palestinian terrorist stabbed them outside a soccer stadium in the southern city. They are being treated at Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon.
Yotko had been walking with a friend on Saturday evening when they noticed a suspicious-looking man behind them. “He had his hand in his pocket. He looked suspicious to me so we began to walk faster. He started chasing after us so we began to run.”
She and her friend were not able to shake the knife-wielding terrorist and he succeeded in stabbing Yotko twice in the back and once more in the stomach.
“I told my friend to run away,” Yotko recounted. “I sat on the ground and tied my [wounds] with a scarf in order to prevent the bleeding. I called the police and my mother.”
According to Yotko, after he stabbed and moderately wounded her, the terrorist tried to run after her friend, but stopped when he encountered an elderly woman. He then stabbed her as well before targeting several other people who couldn’t escape in time.
Liel’s quick thinking probably saved her life. Kol hakavod to her on her courage. I wish her an dthe other victims a speedy recovery.
Meanwhile the terrorist fled the scene and was only captured hours later when he was found hiding in the garden of a private house, much to the shock and consternation of the owner.
After stabbing the Israeli civilians, the terrorist, armed with a knife and wearing bloodstained clothes, fled and hid in the dark area of a yard belonging to local resident Ami Lahiani.
Lahiani, who had no idea the terrorist was hiding on his property, only realized something was amiss when he heard the sound of broken glass from the front door of his house.
“I heard someone trying to enter the house,” Lahiani told Channel 10 on Sunday. “I shouted ‘Who is it?’ but no sound came out.”
“I went downstairs and suddenly I saw [security forces] with their weapons drawn,” he continued. “I asked what had happened and they told me the terrorist was in my house.”
“The police told me to ‘stop,'” Lahiani also recounted to Channel 2. “I answered that I was the homeowner; then they told me to stay inside. The terrorist was hiding in the years behind the wall of the house. One wall separate us. I’m still in shock.”
The terrorist has been identified as Mohammed Tarada, a Palestinian Arab teenager from the Yatir village near Hevron who was working illegally in Israeli sovereign territory.
The violence didn’t stop there and there were three more attacks today. This morning saw a dramatic incident in which a terrorist who tried to stab two young girls was himself run over by a civilian in order to prevent the attack, and was then shot dead by soldiers. There was another attempted car-ramming and stabbing near Maaleh Adumim, and the day came to a dismal close with the murder of a young Israeli woman in Gush Etzion, at the same spot as the deadly attack on Thursday.
The hero of the first attack was Gershon Mesika, former head of the Shomron Regional Council, who ran over the terrorist to stop her reaching her targets and stabbing them:
A female Palestinian Arab terrorist attempted to stab pedestrians at Brigade Square in Samaria Sunday morning, just after 9:15 am.
Her attempt was thwarted after former Samaria Regional Council head Gershon Mesika, who lives in Elon Moreh close to the intersection, plowed his car into her. Soldiers on duty then shot her, neutralizing her on-site.
The terrorist is listed as in serious condition; she was later declared dead at the scene. Mesika suffered nothing but a few scratches in stopping the attack.
There are no other injuries reported.
“I heard someone shout ‘terrorist’ and run toward a girl from Har Bracha, wielding a knife,” Mesika stated in an interview with Army Radio in the minutes after the attack. “I made a quick decision: I veered to the right and slammed into her.”
“A soldier then came and finished it.”
Mesika deserves a medal for his quick thinking and courage, but instead, the Palestinians are accusing him of “war crimes” for running over the terrorist and have issued death threats against him on Twitter and Facebook. The Palestinians’ chutzpah is breathtaking and outrageous. How is it that their car-rammers are celebrated as “heroes” carrying out “martyrdom operations” but an Israeli acting in defence of other civilians is called a war criminal? (Don’t bother answering, it is a rhetorical question whose answer is “antisemitism”).
Shortly afterwards a Palestinian taxi driver tried to run over Israel pedestrians near Kfar Adumim, and when he didn’t succeed, he jumped out of his car and tried to stab them. Thankfully only one Israeli was slightly injured.
Tragically the day ended on a bitter note with the murder of 21 year old Hadar Buchris at the Gush Etzion junction, site of the murderous shooting rampage on Thursday in which 3 people were killed.
A young woman gravely wounded in a stabbing attack at Gush Etzion Junction earlier Sunday has died of her wounds, officials have confirmed.
She has been identified as 21-year-old Hadar Buchris, a resident of Tzfat in northern Israel.
In the third such attack of the day Sunday, an Arab terrorist stabbed and critically wounded her as she waited for a ride; she was taken to Jerusalem’s Shaarei Tzedek hospital under sedation and on a ventilator, but doctors were forced to pronounce her dead as she lay on the operating table.
Hadar’s former teacher eulogized her movingly:
Hadar Buchris, 21, the latest victim of surging Arab terror, who was murdered at the Gush Etzion Junction Sunday, studied at Zohar College for Women in Bat Ayin. The students of the college planned to convene Sunday evening and then head to the Gush Etzion Junction to protest.
Ayala Eretz Hatzvi, who was Hadar’s theater teacher at Ulpenat Nov in the Golan, said that Hadar graduated after majoring in theater. “She was a charming girl, radiant and friendly, a true woman of merit and a kind of psychologist to her friends, who could always turn to her and talk until the middle of the night.
“She was very talented at theater, both in drama and comedy,” the teacher recalled. “When energy was lacking in the group, she always managed to wake everyone up.”
What a sad loss to her family, friends and the whole nation. May her family be comforted amongst the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem and may they know no more sorrow.
Her funeral is set for 3 pm tomorrow in Jerusalem. May Hashem avenge her blood and the blood of all the 21 victims that have been killed so far in this terror wave.
Meanwhile, Ezra Schwartz Hy’d, the other young victim of Palestinian terror who was murdered at the same spot in Gush Etzion was brought back to the US by his parents for burial. Hundreds of people attended the ceremony at Ben Gurion airport to pay tribute to the young man who came to Israel to study for a year and gave his life in Israel’s war against Palestinian hatred.
Several hundred people were on hand at the Ben Gurion International Airport outside Tel Aviv to say goodbye to Ezra Schwartz, 18, before his body was loaded on to a plane to be flown back to his native Sharon, Massachusetts on Saturday night. Schwartz was one of three people killed Thursday when a Palestinian man opened fire at vehicles outside the settlement of Alon Shvut, just south of Jerusalem.
Among the mourners, who prayed and sang the Israeli national anthem, “Hatikva,” at the airport were dozens of his fellow students at Yeshivat Ashreinu in Beit Shemesh, where Schwartz was spending his post-high school gap year.
During the ceremony, a letter was read from Schwartz’s father, Ari.
“I cannot help but be happy for Ezra,” he wrote. “We know that he is okay right now and that gives us peace.”
The letter continued, “We have no regrets. I am happy for him because of all the places he went and all the people he was able to touch. Some people live long lives but have unfortunate circumstances that make life hard. Ezra had a wonderful life and he died a happy person, and that is more important than anything else.”
What wonderful, strong parents Ezra z”l had. Instead of expressing bitterness or demanding revenge they simply accept his terrible death and celebrate his short but good life.
Schwartz, the second of five children, was a recent graduate of the Maimonides School in Brookline, Massachusetts, and had been a counselor at Camp Yavneh, a Jewish summer camp in Northwood, New Hampshire.
Five other members of Schwartz’s yeshiva were lightly injured in the attack. Besides delivering supplies to soldiers, the group had also visited a nearby memorial to three Israeli teenagers killed by Palestinian terrorists in the area last summer.
The United Synagogue Youth program, which Ezra joined in 2013, released a statement saying he would be “remembered as being a warm and funny member of the… community. Staff on his trip recalled today that he used his deep experience in Judaism to teach other teens how to participate in Jewish ritual.”
At the funeral the family’s Rabbi and also Ezra’s father eulogized his son:
Rabbi Dr. Meir Sendor, the Rabbi of the Young Israel of Sharon, MA, eulogized Schwartz.
Ezra chose the yeshiva at Beit Shemesh because the program there included volunteer work and he wanted to experience Israel, according to Rabbi Sendor. He was murdered as he distributed food to the soldiers guarding over Israel against terror attacks. “Ezra would have it no other way,” said the rabbi. “He was a young man of courage and heart. He was brave. He was there to help. This is what he chose. This is who he was. This is where he had to be. He is a holy martyr.
Rabbi Sendor added: “Our Torah has profound things to say about the neshama (soul) that has suffered death for Kiddush Hashem (the sanctification of God – ed.). I know that Ezra in the way he lived and the way he died is close to God. We’ve always known that Ezra is a person of holiness. His life is a meaningful life, and his death is a meaningful death.”
Ezra’s father, Ari Schwartz, held back tears as he said: “We are so proud of who he was. We are proud to be proud of the greater Jewish community that connects us throughout the world.” He thanked the Israeli and US government for calling and expressing their condolences, saying: “It made us feel that he was important. Every person is important.”
“Ezra had a great life,” he said. “We are proud of who he was and what he accomplished. He had 18 great years. We had a great son and a great brother. His grandparents and his cousins, his aunts and uncles and his friends, will miss him greatly. And he will miss you. We did great things together and he did great things on his own.” He spoke of his son’s love of sports, especially baseball, and his connection to children, which came into play when he served as a counselor in summer camp.
Ezra Schwartz and the other students who were hurt in the attack had come to help build the Oz Vegaon site, which was established in memory of the three yeshiva students who were abducted and murdered last summer.
ברוך דיין אמת. יהי זכרם של כל הקרבנות הקדושים ברוך.
May these be the last funerals of Jewish victims of this murderous Arab nationalism and antisemitism. It is getting too hard to bear. May Hashem give our leaders the strength of character to make wise decisions; may He give our army the courage and strength to successfully fight our enemies, and may He bring peace to all of Am Yisrael.