Wednesday, March 02, 2016

02-Mar-16: Early morning attack by knife-wielding Arab youths in Eli

A quiet corner of Eli at a quieter time [Image Source: NY Times]
The Israeli community of Eli, located about 30 kilometers north of the capital Jerusalem in the Binyamin region and home to some 550 families, was the scene of violent drama in the past couple of hours. The New York Times profiled Eli last year, calling it a "boomtown of more than 4,000 people that sprawls across six hilltops..."

According to Galei Zahal, the IDF's radio station, quoted by Times of Israel, a pair of terror-minded Palestinian Arabs launched an attack soon after dawn on this very mild Wednesday morning. The two succeeded in making their way inside the perimeter of the village in search of victims. First reports emerged around 6:00 am, indicating the attackers got as far as the Hayovel section of Eli after hanging around for as much as an hour. Speaking on radio just now, an Israeli man, a father of five, said:
"Two Arabs were waiting outside [my] door. When I opened the door they burst in with wooden clubs and broke in. I was able to push them out and lock the door."
Reports say he was stabbed and beaten in the head and was injured. But he evidently prevented much worse from being done to his wife and children inside. That's the calculation on many Israeli minds this morning as they hear the news.

The attackers, who fled, were located shortly afterwards, hiding in a nearby public building and were shot dead by security forces. During the search, Eli residents were instructed to remain inside their homes.

Eli from the distance [NY Times]
The victim, named in a Jerusalem Post report as Roei Harel, is now at Jerusalem’s Shaarei Zedek Medical Center receiving treatment for his wounds. The Times of Israel report quotes hospital sources saying his condition is stable and fair.

The attackers are reported to be two high school students (according to this Arabic news report) - a pair of youths, children really, who are never going to reach voting age. Still, by the standards of the weaponization process now energetically underway in Palestinian Arab society and focused on their high-school age children, they are relatively grown up. Such a waste of young lives.

Israel National News names them as Labib Azam and Mohammed Zarluwan, both aged 17, and both from the Arab village of Karyut, located adjacent to Eli. (The Jerusalem Post report, transliterating from Arabic, gives their fuller names: Labib Haldon Anwar Azzam and Mihmoud Hisham Ali Z'jlan.)

No indications at this early hour of just how the Arabic-language media are depicting today's "heroic" knife attack - but even at this early hour their portraits are already circulating [here] in the Arabic-language social media.

Updates when we have them.

UPDATE 10:00 am Wednesday March 2, 2016: The man who pushed the attackers out of his Eli home is interviewed here.

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