Wednesday, January 10, 2018

10-Jan-18: Hamas praises a murderous drive-by shooting that orphans six young Israeli children

Today's funeral in Havat Gilad [Image Source]
Six more Israeli children - Renana, 10; Naomi, 8; Miriam, 6; Malka, 5; Ovadia, 3; and Benayahu, 10 months - all from Havat Gil'ad, have just become orphans in yet another Arab-on-Israeli drive-by shooting murder - the latest to join a tragic history such attacks.

Their father is being buried as we enter this text. (His is the Havat Gilad community's first funeral.) His wife Yael now faces challenges as a young widow that no one should ever know.

Around 8 pm last night (Tuesday), on Route 60, a major highway in the Samaria district of Israel that runs north-south between Beer Sheva and Nazareth via Jerusalem, a shooter armed with a gun opened fire from his moving vehicle in the direction of the car of Rabbi Raziel Shevach, a remarkable man of 35:
Rabbi Shevach was a mohel, taught children in the community and also served as a volunteer in the regional health service. He had been a resident of Havat Gilad for 10 years... [Hamodia, January 10, 2018]
Shot in the neck, Rabbi Shevach managed to phone his wife. She raised the alarm and help was dispatched. Times of Israel says
civilian and military medics rushed to the scene and tried to stop the bleeding as they took him to Kfar Saba’s Meir Hospital, where he was pronounced dead after life-saving efforts failed. Immediately following the attack, troops launched a manhunt, setting up roadblocks in the area around the Palestinian city of Nablus as they looked for the perpetrators.
Rabbi Shevach in his Magen David Adom
ambulance brigade uniform [Image Source]
The hunt was aided by ad hoc IDF security checks that were put in place at the entrances to and exits from nearby Nablus and forces manned security crossings across the city, according to the military spokesperson. Israeli special forces joined the search, entering nearby Palestinian Arab villages to seek the attackers.

As of this morning (Wednesday), the army has said it is expanding the search and bringing in reinforcements. Attacks of this kind are often described as the work of lone-wolf operators. Much of the time, a cell of terrorists is revealed and a supply chain and operational command that stretch beyond our borders and into foreign countries. Too soon to eliminate any theories.

A Facebook post on Monday (in Hebrew) reported that a Jewish resident of the nearby Yitzhar community, driving in his car, saw another vehicle pull up next to him. The other driver brandished a pistol but was unable to fire for reasons unknown.

The terrorists of Hamas issued a statement last night (says Times of Israel) praising the attack, calling it “heroic” and warning that it is "a sign of future attacks to come". Another source quotes part of their message calling the murder:
heroic action, that came as a result of Israel’s crimes against our people in the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. 
Hamas stopped short of taking responsibility for the lethal terror attack. This doesn't mean they are uninvolved. And it certainly shouldn't be understood as a specific response to some specific complaint. The Palestinian Arab terrorist forces seek Israeli and Jewish victims always and everywhere, and have done for generations.

UPDATE Tuesday February 6, 2018: A JTA report today ["Israeli forces kill head of terror cell behind Gilad Farm rabbi’s murder"] says that as a result of a joint effort by the Israel Security Agency (the Shin Bet), the Israel Defense Forces and the Israel Police,
"Israeli security forces shot and killed the Palestinian terrorist behind the murder of an Israeli father of six. Nearly a month after Rabbi Raziel Shevach was killed in a drive-by attack at the Gilad Farms outpost junction in the northern West Bank, Ahmed Nassar Jarrar, a resident of Jenin, was killed Tuesday morning, the Israel Security Agency said in a statement. Jarrar was the head of the terrorist cell that perpetrated the January 9 shooting and personally participated in the attack, according to the statement.  Jarrar was killed during an attempt to arrest him in the village of Yamoun, near Jenin, where he was hiding. An M-16 rifle and an explosives pack were found with him when he was killed. Other cell members who have been arrested have told investigators that the cell was involved in other attempts to plan and carry out terror attacks. A gag order has been placed on any additional details..."

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