Sunday, July 10, 2016

10-Jul-16: Saturday night Arab-on-Israel gunfire attack on car-full of children in Gush Etzion

The injured driver: No other family member in the vehicle
was hurt [Image Source]
Visitors to Israel and especially to the capital know that the Gush Etzion communities are located just a few minutes drive south of Jerusalem and are a thriving component of the greater Jerusalem urban area. In fact, they offer some of the most pleasant living environments in all of Israel.

But they are also located within close proximity of Hebron from where extreme Arab-on-Israel violence has emanated since at least the tragic massacre of 1929 in which on a single day (August 24) about seventy defenseless Jews were slaughtered, holy sites were pillaged and destroyed, and the entire Jewish population which had lived, worked and studied there for centuries was forcibly removed.

Polite reminder to the history-challenged: There were at that time no "oppressive" IDF checkpoints, no occupation, no "illegal settlements", no "Apartheid" security barrier. But there certainly was Arab-on-Jew hatred on a scale that defies the imagination. Some think that has passed. Others see it as a constant.

Now to last night. As reported by Israeli National News ["Man shot, wounded near Tekoa"]
A 30-year-old Israeli man was shot and wounded near the Gush Etzion community of Tekoa on Saturday night. MDA first responders were at the scene and treated the victim. He is now at Jerusalem's Shaarei Zedek hospital, where doctors say that he is in moderate condition with a bullet wound to the shin.
The communities of Gush Etzion, sorted by size of population
[Data Source: Wikipedia]
Since that was published, it has become clear the attack was not adjacent to Tekoa but between the small Gush Etzion community of Metzad (previously called Nahal Asfar) and the nearby T-intersection that serves it. Metzad is the southern-most community in Gush Etzion, and has a largely Haredi Jewish population.

Times of Israel says this morning (Sunday) that the IDF is currently
keeping two West Bank villages under closure as a troops searched for a shooter who opened fire at an Israeli car in the area the night before, injuring one person. The Israeli man, who has not been identified by officials, suffered light to moderate injuries and remained hospitalized in Jerusalem Sunday morning after the attack, which occurred on a road in the Etzion settlement bloc southeast of Jerusalem... The man’s wife and five children were in the vehicle with him during the shooting, a spokesperson for the Etzion bloc said... The shooting attack took place south of what’s known as the “T” junction on the highway connecting the east and west sides of the Etzion settlement bloc. The terrorist fled the scene and the army subsequently sealed off the nearby towns of Sa’ir and Al-Aroub as troops searched for the gunner. The army overnight Saturday-Sunday arrested eight Palestinians in the West Bank suspected of involvement in riots and attacks on Israeli civilians and soldiers, but were still searching for the attacker. Palestinian media reported on Saturday night that following the closure, clashes broke out between IDF soldiers and residents in Sa’ir after soldiers imposed the closure, which involves surrounding the town and checking anyone leaving or entering.
Those Arab towns now being locked down have some terrorism background. We described what's special about Sa'ir six months ago in "08-Jan-16: Four more thwarted knife attackers, all from one town". It's regarded as a Hamas stronghold, which may surprise people who think that's true only of the terror-addicted Gaza Strip. Al-Aroub was last in our blog posts in April 2016 when one of its citizens launched a strikingly-unsuccessful ax attack on an Israeli [reported here].

In the Hebrew social media, Saturday night's shooting victim is described [here] as a Haredi resident of Netivot who had been a Sabbath guest in Metzad, along with his wife and children, all of them in the vehicle at the time of the shooting. Other than the driver, no one else was injured in the terror attack. Netivot is some 100 kilometers (an hour and a half's drive) from Metzad. A later report identifies him as Eitan Finkel. That's him in the photo at the top. We wish him a speedy and full recovery from his injuries. His six children were inside the car when it came under fire.

Since October 2015, according to a Times of Israel tally, 35 Israelis and four others have been killed and hundreds more injured in the wave of Arab-on-Israeli attacks. Some 200 Palestinian Arabs have been killed, about two-thirds of them the actual attackers in the course of their jihadist assaults, with the remainder killed in clashes with Israeli security forces.

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