by: Ilse Strauss
Friday, 14 December 2018 | Five days. Multiple terror attacks. Three Israelis murdered. Three loved ones buried much too soon.
As Israel mourns the loss and heartache of one of the most violent weeks in recent years, several Palestinian groups—including Hamas and Fatah—have vowed more bloodshed is to come. The terror organization ruling the Gaza Strip and Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party called for a “Day of Rage” today throughout Judea and Samaria to protest Israeli “crimes” and avenge the death of “martyrs.”
These so-called martyrs refer to the Palestinian terrorists behind two deadly terror attacks who were apprehended and killed by the Israel Defense Forces this week. Adding fuel to the fire, today also marks the 31st anniversary of the founding of Hamas, an event the terror group observes annually with violent riots and protests.
The week of terror started on Sunday night when a Palestinian terrorist fired on a group of civilians standing at a bus stop near Ofra, a community in the northern part of Judea and Samaria. Seven people were injured in the attack, including a seven-month pregnant woman. The 21-year-old woman was rushed to the hospital, and her baby was delivered in an emergency C-section. The baby boy clung to life for three days but died Wednesday. Just hours after the baby’s funeral, Israeli forces apprehended the terrorist. The shooter, Salih Barghouti, was killed while trying to escape arrest and attack troops.
Hamas claimed credit for the attack, proudly hailing the terrorist as a “great martyr” and a “son.” A “new page of blood, fire and gunpowder has been opened” with Israel, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh vowed.
The week’s second deadly attack occurred yesterday morning, less than two kilometers (1.2 mi.) from Sunday’s shooting. Shortly after 11:00 a.m., a Palestinian gunman—reportedly wearing an IDF uniform—leapt from a car and opened fire on a group of soldiers and civilians standing near a bus stop before fleeing the carnage. Two soldiers, Sergeant Yosef Cohen, 19, and 20-year-old Staff Sergeant Yovel Moryosef, were declared dead at the scene, while two more Israelis were rushed to a Jerusalem hospital in serious condition.
Despite a massive manhunt, the terrorists—the shooter and a driver—remain at large.
According to a senior IDF commander, the same Hamas terror cell was responsible for yesterday and Sunday’s attacks. IDF Central Command chief Maj. Gen. Nadav Padan pledged the army would not rest until all members of the cell have been apprehended, the Times of Israel reported.
Both Hamas and Fatah lauded the week’s bloodshed. The terror organization ruling the Gaza Strip hailed the attacks as “heroic actions” and issued a clarion call for Palestinians to step up “resistance” against Israel. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh declared a “Day of Rage” throughout Judea and Samaria Friday. Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhoum said in a statement, “The flame of resistance…has not and will not be extinguished until the occupation is defeated from our entire land, and we regain our rights in full.”
For its part, PA president Abbas’s Fatah party called on Palestinians “to commemorate the martyrs and realize our goals.” Fatah also echoed Hamas’s call for a “Day of Rage” today.
While Abbas condemned the “violence,” he did so begrudgingly after pressure from the United States. The PA president remains committed to the infamous “pay for slay” policy, which offers financial compensation for families of terrorists who murder and injure Israelis. Under this policy, the families of the perpetrators in both deadly attacks this week will receive generous monthly salaries from the PA.
The US ambassador to Israel David Friedman summed up the bizarre situation in a tweet, “In the past week #Palestinian terrorists have killed or wounded 14 #Israelis in multiple attacks. The Pal Authority maintains laws that will compensate these terrorists and their families for their heinous acts. The PA can be a political body OR a sponsor of terror, not both.”
Today, Israel prepares for a day of rest on Shabbat (Sabbath), while the Palestinians gear up for a day of rage. The situation in Judea and Samaria hovers close to the breaking point. The manhunt for the terrorist responsible for yesterday’s attack lasted throughout the night and continues today. The army arrested 40 Palestinians overnight in connection with the attacks, 37 of whom are known Hamas operatives. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has bolstered troops in the area. Violent riots and large-scale protests are expected. This morning already saw its first incident, with a Palestinian attacking and moderately wounding a soldier.
We watch, wait and pray as the headlines of nearly all Hebrew news outlets seem to echo the question hovering like a dark cloud over Israel and her people: are these the opening salvos of yet another bloody protracted period of violence with the Palestinians, a war waged on city streets, public squares and the roads of Judea and Samaria?
At Bridges for Peace, we are committed to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Ps. 122:6). We invite all our readers to join us in this prayer.
"'Comfort, yes, comfort My people!' says your God. Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she has received from the LORD's hnad double for all her sins" (Isa. 40:1–2).
The Lord has called Bridges for Peace to be comforters of those who mourn in Zion. We take food and supplies to grieving families as they sit and mourn for seven days after a death. We take gift parcels to the many wounded who are recovering in the hospitals. We help sponsor a camp for children who have lost a family member to terror.
This week, three more families have been added to the already large number of those who mourn in Zion. Would you consider a donation to our Victims of Terror program to help us bring them comfort?
Posted on December 14, 2018
Source: (Bridges for Peace, December 14, 2018)
Photo Credit: Israel Defence Forces@IDF/twitter.com
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