Monday, 10 December 2018 | On the last night of Hanukkah (Feast of Dedication or Festival of Light), celebrating the miracle of Jewish survival against the might of the Seleucid Empire, seven Israelis were injured in a drive-by shooting from a Palestinian vehicle in Judea and Samaria (West Bank).
One of the victims was a 21-year-old pregnant woman who sustained injuries to the lower abdomen, according to a surgeon from the hospital where she is treated. She was rushed to the hospital, and doctors successfully performed a cesarean section to deliver the baby, who was 30 weeks along. The infant was then taken to a neo-natal intensive care unit and is reportedly in serious condition.
Six other people were injured at the shooting, which happened at a bus station near Ofra junction, in the northern part of Judea and Samaria. Security footage of the incident shows a white car pulling in front of the bus stop and firing at a group of people waiting nearby, who ran for cover. The car sped away as IDF (Israel Defense Forces) soldiers approached, firing at the vehicle.
Among the injured are two moderately wounded victims, including the pregnant woman’s husband, and four lightly wounded teenagers.
The baby boy was initially reported to be in a stable condition after delivery last night, but the hospital updated Monday that he has deteriorated and is attached to a ventilator, undergoing treatment.
Dr. Alon, Schwartz, a surgeon at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center, told Army Radio on Monday, “A pregnant woman who loses so much blood cannot provide the oxygen needed for the baby in her stomach. This was apparently the harm to the baby that we discovered.”
The mother’s condition has stabilized and she has regained consciousness after undergoing surgery late Sunday night. She was initially reported to be in critical condition, and according to the Shaare Zedek medical director, Professor Yonatan HaLevy, the mother and baby “have a long way to go before they are out of danger.”
Schwartz told Army Radio, “She arrived in a state of shock and had lost a lot of blood. She has a gunshot wound in the lower stomach area.”
As supporters surrounded her hospital bed, Meirav Sharvit, one of the injured teenagers, described that she stood with her back to the road and initially thought the loud sound of the shooting was fireworks from the Hanukkah celebration. She told the reporters that everyone hit the ground for cover once they understood what was really happening.
Chen Antebi, another of the injured teenagers, told the reporters, “I suddenly saw a boom, all kinds of shrapnel, and I was sure it was fireworks, because of the party that was there before. [However], when I saw the pregnant woman bleeding on the floor and her husband shouting, I understood that I had to hide.”
Paramedics stationed nearby heard the noise of the shooting and immediately hurried to help, administering treatment quickly.
“I am very grateful to God that nothing happened to [my daughter], a huge miracle happened to us on Hanukkah,” Chen Antebi’s mother told the media. “We will not solve the problem with fear. On the contrary, it is symbolic that they stood right next to the place where the Maccabees fought, near Ofra. A lot of heroism was shown there.”
Israeli security forces are currently searching for the terrorists in nearby Palestinian villages. They believe the Palestinian vehicle, which has been found abandoned, held at least two occupants.
A Hamas spokesman praised the attack as heroic.
“The heroic Ofra operation is an affirmation of our people’s choice and legitimacy in resisting the Zionist occupation and its settlers,” Abdelatif al-Qanou wrote on his Facebook page. “It proves that any attempt to condemn the Palestinian resistance will fail in the face of the desire and valiance of our Palestinian people.”
This comes just days after the United Nations fell just nine votes short of a two-thirds majority required to pass a US-sponsored resolution to condemn Hamas and its terrorist activities in Israel.
US Special Envoy Jason Greenblatt reposted al-Qanou’s statement on his Twitter, writing, “@UN this is what you defended last week when you failed to condemn Hamas. Hamas praises yet another terror attack. You had the ability to help fight against terror. Is this what the UN wants its legacy to be?”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu voiced his support for the survivors, saying, “We will not rest until we find these murderous criminals.”
Israeli president Reuven Rivlin also made a statement after the attack.
“Praying for the recovery of those injured in the despicable terrorist attack, including the young mother who brought life into the world from this hellish scene,” Reuven posted to Twitter. “I send my unreserved support to the security forces who are relentlessly pursuing the terrorists.”
By Kate Norman
(Bridges for Peace, December 10, 2018)
Photo Credit: Israel Defense Forces@IDF/twitter.com
Posted on December 10, 2018
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