In the past couple of weeks, while we have been having a family health crisis, it has not been quiet and peaceful at all on our borders and within country.
The worst attack was a combined shooting and stabbing at Ariel Junction, scene of several previous attacks. A soldier, Gal Keidan, a talented musician in his civilian life, and Rabbi Achiad Ettinger, an educator, yeshiva head and father of 12, were murdered by a terrorist who was caught just a couple of days ago and I am pleased (yes, pleased!) to say he was killed in the firefight during his arrest.
As always, the disgusting Palestinians celebrated the murders with distributing sweets. They hardly deserve the name “human”.
Read about the two victims of this terror attack in this post by Sivan Rahav Meir:
“Hello Sivan, I am a teacher, and when I tell my students about the people we are mourning and praying for, I try to add a personal detail, so the students can connect. I read the life stories of the victims of yesterday’s terror attack in Ariel, and I was profoundly moved:
“Rabbi Achiad Ettinger HY”D, the father of 12 children, was critically injured in the attack and passed away this morning. Over the last few years, Rabbi Ettinger connected deeply with the crisis of the Jewish community of south Tel Aviv, and established a hesder yeshiva there, a yeshiva where students alternate periods of intense Torah study with IDF service.
“Under the leadership of Rabbi Ettinger, the yeshiva’s preparations to bring joy to south Tel Aviv’s Jewish residents this Purim – including Mishloach Manot, readings of the book of Esther, charity for the neighborhood’s many needy residents – were already in full swing when their Rosh Yeshiva, HY”D, was fatally injured yesterday.
“Sergeant Gal Kaydan HY”D, 19 years old from Beer Sheva, left behind admiring students and teachers at the city’s conservatory. Gal loved to play music, and he spread that love to those around him.
“Over the course of his decade of music study, Gal dedicated himself to a special and rare instrument – the mandocello. In his final recital, where he appeared as a soloist, you can hear his passion for as well as his gift for music.
“The second soldier injured in the attack, Alexander Dvorsky, is now fighting for his life. Alexander grew up in Moldova, made aliya on his own with the Youth Aliya program to Nazareth Illit, attended high school at WIZO-Nahalal and volunteered to serve in a combat unit. Some of his family members followed his example and have made aliya as well.
“Three special Israelis, all different from one another, who stood yesterday morning near the Ariel Junction. But the enemy sees what unites them, and every Jew.”
Dedicated to the elevation of the soul of Rabbi Achiad Ettinger and Gal Kaidan HY”D, and to Alexander Dvorsky’s complete recovery.
Translated by JewishMOM.com
And watch this video by Israeli advocacy group Boomerang:
The loss to the families and to the Jewish nation of these two extraordinary men is indescribable. May their families be comforted amongst the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem and may Hashem avenge their blood.
Meanwhile the stone throwings and firebombings in Judea and Samaria continue unabated, but almost never reported in the press.
Hamas terrorists in Ketziot prison staged a mini-uprising yesterday, stabbing and seriously injuring one guard and lightly injuring another.
The south is under continued fire from explosive balloons, while the Gaza border itself is attacked violently by armed hordes planting and throwing explosives at our soldiers. Make no mistake – these are no “peaceful protests”. These actions are war and should be treated as such.
According to local Palestinian media reports, hundreds of Gazans took part in the riots in five main locations along the border, setting fire to tires, throwing firecrackers and pointing lasers towards IDF troops deployed along the fence. Some 600 protesters returned to the border area Saturday night.
Palestinian rioters belonging to the “night confusion unit” threw fireworks and explosives at IDF soldiers on the Gaza border, and launched several barrages of incendiary balloons at southern Israel.
Residents of border communities reported hearing loud explosions. A spokesperson from the Eshkol Regional Council said explosions were part of the violence taking place on the border, adding that the IDF was at the sites where this was taking place
Hamas itself has been under fire from its own population who are finally fed up at the corruption and mismanagement that has brought them such misery, and are furious at the way the terrorist organization tries to deflect its domestic problems by starting a fight with Israel.
A senior Palestinian official said Saturday that the Ramallah-based leadership has asked Egypt to pressure Hamas over the violent suppression of protests during a third day of demonstrations in Gaza against the terror group and the dire economic conditions in the enclave.
In response to a video of Hamas forces suppressing demonstrations, a close confidant of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas tweeted his outrage.
“This is not the Israeli occupation forces!!”Fatah Central Committee member Hussein al-Sheikh said. “It is the Hamas gangs that are terrorizing and suppressing the hungry in the Gaza Strip.”
The rare public show of dissent in Gaza began Thursday as demonstrators took to the streets in a number of locations throughout the Strip to protest the cost of living and Hamas rule.
A couple of weeks ago Hamas shot a missile at Tel Aviv. Luckily it was deflected by Iron Dome.
Last night the Sharon-region village of Mishmeret was not so lucky. A long-range missile shot by Hamas (though they haven’t taken official responsibility, claiming it was “an accident”) directly hit a house in the village, causing massive destruction. By a miracle none of the 7 inhabitants was seriously hurt, though the mother and grandmother and two infants were injured by shrapnel. The house was owned by the Wolf family, who made aliya from Britain.
Police said the projectile early Monday struck a building in the community of Mishmeret, on the Sharon plain, causing it to catch fire. The shrapnel from the rocket attack also caused significant damage to the surrounding area.
Firefighters and search-and-rescue workers arrived at the scene to extinguish the blaze and look for any survivors who might be trapped in the destroyed building, the fire department said.
This attack on Mishmeret, located over 80 kilometers (50 miles) from the Gaza Strip, was the farthest reaching rocket attack from the enclave since the 2014 Gaza war, during which projectiles reached as far north as the city of Haifa.
The distance of the attack and significant damage caused by the impact indicated that it was conducted by one of the larger terror groups in Gaza — either the Strip’s de facto rulers Hamas or the Iran-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad — who have access to the types of long-range projectiles with heavy warheads necessary for such an attack.
Initial assessments of the attack indicated that the Iranian-designed Fajr-5 rocket was likely used in the attack though this has yet to be confirmed.
As of 7 a.m. Monday, no terror groups in the enclave have taken responsibility for the rocket launch.
Robert Wolf, the owner of the house in Mishmeret, describes his family’s miraculous escape:
Luck and miracles saved seven members of the Wolf family from almost certain death, when a rocket from Gaza landed in their home in Moshav Mishmeret at around 5:20 a.m. on Monday.
“I nearly lost my family,” said Robert Wolf, as he stood outside the shell of his house, on a tree-lined street with single family homes, located in the middle of the country close to Kfar Saba.
“If we had not gotten to the bomb shelter in time, I would now be burying all my family,” he said.
Robert listed on his fingers the lives that had been saved: “that is two grandchildren, one 5 months old, one 2 years old. That would be my third child, with his wife, my wife, myself and my youngest daughter. They would all have been dead if we didn’t do what we had been supposed to do.”
Both Wolf and his wife immigrated to Israel from Great Britain some 30 years ago.
Robert’s son Daniel explained to reporters the sudden surprising dash to safety that the family had made that morning to the safe room in their home, mere seconds after waking up. It was narrative peppered with the words luck and miracle.
On a normal morning, Daniel would have been asleep in his bed with his wife Yael. But the night before, he had fallen asleep on the sofa as he scanned his phone and was still there when the warning siren rang out in the moshav.
Something about the acoustics of that room allowed him to hear the siren, when no one else in the house did.
Daniel immediately raced to four bedrooms; his wife’s, his parents and those of his daughters Mia and Tamara. He held both of the girls in his arms as he and his wife raced to the small reinforced room designed to protect them from rocket attacks.
They left the door of the safe room open for his mother, Susan, who never made it further than the kitchen and therefore suffered the most injuries.
Robert left the house to head to his daughter’s separate apartment unit, which was attached to the house, to make sure she had woken up. They were in the yard on their way to the safe room in the main part of the house, when the rocket hit. One moment the house was there; the next moment it was gone, he said.
In the safe room, Daniel said he knew immediately that the house had been hit. The air turned black with dust and his ears buzzed, he said. “I heard screaming, so I knew something bad happened. Luckily we were OK. It was a miracle.”
The family was evacuated to Meir Medical Center in Kfar Saba, where four of its members were treated for light injuries and released. Yael and the younger daughter Tamara remained in the hospital overnight for observation. Susan was transferred to Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva, where she is in moderate condition.
A 12-year-old girl who lives nearby also remained in the hospital for injuries she sustained to her foot.
Robert was clear that what saved his family was their decision to head to the bomb shelter, and not fancy slogans by politicians about security.
“With all the games of politicians and all of them blowing out their chests… They are all going to save us. This is the real price and I just paid it,” Robert said.
Thank G-d the Wolf family made it to safety in time and that their injuries were not worse. A house can be rebuilt, but human lives can never be replaced, as we have seen with the two victims of Palestinian terrorism mentioned above.
As noted previously, Hamas ludicrously claimed that the launch of this missile, as well as the one towards Tel Aviv, was “a mistake” or an accident. The fact that at least in the case of Tel Aviv the military establishment accepted this claim is infuriating. A mistake happens when you send an email or whatsapp message to the wrong group, or when you put salt instead of sugar into a cake, or overspice a dish. Launching a long-range missile does NOT happen by accident! You don’t have a lone terrorist saying “I wonder what this red button does? Oops!”.
It’s one thing for the terrorists to make such a pathetic excuse, after all they are scared of our retaliation. But it’s a disgrace for the government or military to accept it.
It seems that for now the IDF and government have finally internalized that they must react forcefully. The IAF is bombing key structures and targets in Gaza, including the offices of the Hamas chairman (why has it never been attacked until now?!).
Meanwhile the south is once more under intense fire and our southern compatriots are having to take shelter once again.
Let us do away with this scourge once and for all!