by: Kate Norman
Monday, 15 August 2022 | A terrorist shot and wounded eight people outside of Jerusalem’s Old City in the predawn hours of Sunday morning before going into hiding and then turning himself in to the police hours later.
The terrorist, identified as 26-year-old Amir Sidawi of east Jerusalem, first opened fire at a bus parked near the Western Wall complex. The bus driver told Ynet he wanted to drive away but could not as he helping a passenger in a wheelchair onto the bus. Sidawi then reportedly ran to another site where he started shooting again, wounding six more people.
The victims include a 30-year-old pregnant woman who was shot in the abdomen. She was taken to the hospital, where her baby was delivered in an emergency C-section and is reportedly in serious but stable condition.
Seven other people were wounded, with injuries ranging from moderate to severe. One of the men is being treated for gunshot wounds to the head and the neck. Several of the victims were US citizens, including four from the same family, visiting Israel from their ultra-Orthodox communities in New York.
After the attack, Sidawi hid himself during an hours-long manhunt conducted by Israeli security forces.
However, at 7:20 a.m., he took a taxi to a police station, carrying the gun he used during the attack as well as a knife, to turn himself in.
The taxi driver, Shalom Harush, told Walla news that he did not know who he was driving or that the terrorist had a gun in his bag.
After the 12-minute ride, Harush said he dropped Sidawi off at the police station and went about his day as normal until he was stopped by a patrol car for questioning. Sidawi had left the gun on the floor of the taxi, Harush told Walla.
Sidawi reportedly does not have ties to any terror groups and acted alone in the attack.
Israeli media reported that he has a criminal record and served five years of an eight-year sentence after being convicted of grievous bodily harm in 2015.
Sidawi was released from prison in August 2020, Ynet reported, after undergoing anger management workshops and other treatment.
Two brothers, 19-year-old Elazar Prover and 16-year-old Dubbi Prover, were wounded in the attack.
Their father, Yehezkel, said their survival of the attack was “a great miracle,” as both boys were reportedly shot in the shoulder, but the bullets went through cleanly and exited out the other side.
One of the American victims was 22-year-old Menachem Palace, who was visiting Israel on a Birthright tour, a program that sponsors free tours to Israel for Jewish young adults.
Palace was sitting next to the window on the bus and was shot in the shoulder, though he told reporters he felt no pain due to adrenaline and did not realize he had been shot until he saw the blood on his shoulder.
“People shouted Shema Yisrael,” Palace told the Times of Israel. Shema Yisrael means “Hear, O Israel,” from Deuteronomy 6:4, a prayer that Jewish people often say in the moments before their death.
“It was a pretty scary sight,” Palace said, “but thank God I didn’t feel a thing.”
Sidawi was remanded by the Jerusalem Magistrate Court on Sunday and will remain in custody for nine days, while his brother was also remanded for three days.
“There is one conclusion from this incident, as from previous incidents: Whoever harms Israeli citizens has nowhere to hide,” Prime Minister Yair Lapid said at the beginning of the weekly Cabinet meeting yesterday. “We will pursue them, find them wherever they are, and deal with them to the fullest extent of the law.”
Lapid said he spoke to the mayor of Jerusalem yesterday and that they are working to keep the city safe.
“While the Jerusalem District will be significantly reinforced as of tonight in order to prevent copycat attacks,” the prime minister added, “I would like to emphasize: Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, is safe, strong and open to tourists and residents alike.
“On behalf of all of us, the entire Cabinet, I send best wishes for a speedy recovery to the wounded” Lapid concluded. “The entire State of Israel prays for their wellbeing and wishes them a complete recovery.”
Posted on August 15, 2022
Source: (Bridges for Peace, August 15, 2022)
Photo Credit: Jorge Láscar from Australia/commons.wikimedia.org
Photo License: Wikimedia
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