Wednesday, June 27, 2012

27-Jun-12: The terror attack in Ma'ale Adumim, and the role car license plates play


Maale Adumim [Image Source]
Ma'ale Adumim, a modern city of 30,000 people in the Jerusalem suburbs, is about 7 kilometers east of where we are writing this. The name is mentioned in the Bible's Book of Joshua; it marked the border between the Israelite tribes of Judah and Benjamin. In the Book of Luke in the New Testament, it's where the Good Samaritan parable is set. Currently there's a shortage of good Samaritans in the area. 

On December 17, 2011, one of the security guards manning the checkpoint at the community's entrance was stabbed by an unknown assailant who spoke Arabic [report]. A 21 year-old suspect by the name of Hanaishe, a resident of the village of Qabatiya, was arrested two months later and [according to Ynet's account] admitted to the stabbing, ascribing nationalistic reasons to no one's surprise. 

Typical yellow Israeli
vehicle license plate
[Image Source]
This afternoon (Wednesday), there was a similar stabbing in more or less the same place, with a different outcome. A Palestinian Arab who lives in Bethlehem, south of Jerusalem, drove a Mitsubishi which, according to an initial report was owned by an east Jerusalem resident, came into Ma'ale Adumim and attempted to run over a police officer. Unsuccessful in this, he rammed the borrowed vehicle into a police squad car. What follows next is according to the reported testimony of Superintendent Uri Yoran, commander of the Ma'ale Adumim police station. 

The assailant emerged from the driver's seat and, abandoning the borrowed car, climbed a fence and ran about 100 meters to the security guard's booth at the city's entrance, with a  police officer from the rammed car in hot pursuit. The Arab then lunged at the guard's weapon and attempted to grab it. A struggle ensued, during which the Palestinian Arab attacker was shot. He was rushed (in accordance with invariable Israeli practice) to Jerusalem's Shaare Zedek Medical Center with severe injuries. If he survives, he can expect to get some of the best medicine available anywhere in the Middle East. 

License plate issued to
a Bethlehem vehicle owner by the
Palestinian Authority
[Image Source]
Dr David Applebaum is one of the medical professionals who turned Shaare Zedek emergency room (which we have unfortunately gotten to know too well over the years) into a globally-outstanding center for emergency and trauma care. David, who we knew, was murdered with his daughter on the evening before her wedding in what came to be known as Jerusalem's Cafe Hillel Bombing in 2003.


Why was today's attacker driving a borrowed car? We're surmising, but probably because the vehicles belonging to East Jerusalem residents, including many thousands who openly identify with the cause of the Palestinian Arab terror gangs, have ordinary yellow license plates like other Israelis do. People from Bethlehem, like the man who rammed the police car, pay their car fees to the Palestinian Authority and get license plates that bear the PA's insignia. Those vehicles get extra scrutiny from Israeli security guards. Today's terror attack is a reminder of why.

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