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Friday, July 01, 2016

Our latest terror victims bring back memories of 2002 terror attack on yeshiva

The latest victims of terror are Michael Mark HY"D (May God Avenge his blood), the director of the yeshiva in Otniel, his wife, who is seriously wounded, and two of his daughters who were less seriously wounded.
The man killed in the attack has been identified as Michael "Miki" Mark, a father of 10 from Otniel. His wife, Chava, was critically wounded. Two of their children, Pedaya, 15, and Tehilla, 14, sustained moderate and light wounds, respectively. Michael Marc headed an Otniel yeshiva where four students were murdered in a terror attach in 2002.

According to the army, the family's car was driving along the south Mount Hebron's Route 60 when they were overtaken by another vehicle and came under a hail of bullets, fired from what the army believe was a Kalashnikov rifle. The gunfire caused the car to veer and flip over. Army forces who searched the car said they found over 20 bullet casings inside.

Witnesses reported seeing an overturned car on the side of a road near the settlement of Otneil and an IDF outpost, some 15km south of Kiryat Arba. Rescue services alerted to the scene found the four causalities inside.
For those who have forgotten, that terror attack in the yeshiva in Otniel took place on a Friday night in 2002, and many lives were saved by a kitchen staff that prevented the terrorists from gaining access to the yeshiva dining room.
Around 7:30 P.M. Friday, two terrorists from the nearby village of Dura in the Hebron area infiltrated Otniel from the settlement's west side. For the most part, Otniel is not surrounded by a fence; there is a relatively porous fence on the settlement's southwest side, near the yeshiva. The terrorists chose to infiltrate the fenced-off area. They cut into the fence (even though it ends just a few dozen meters from the site of entry), and entered the settlement. The two men wore army uniforms, carried M-16 rifles and were loaded with ammunition.

The yeshiva, located just a short distance from the fence, is a large, well-lit building, and the terrorists chose it as their target. At the time, dozens of yeshiva students were gathered in the ground-floor dining hall, waiting for the Friday night Shabbat meal. The two terrorists began to spray the building with bullets from the outside; one managed to get inside, via a service entrance, and entered a kitchen area next to the dining hall.

Four unarmed yeshiva students were working in the kitchen at the time. Shooting at short range, the terrorists murdered Noam After from Shilo, Gavriel Hoter from Alonei Habashan, Tvi Zeiman from Reut and Yehuda Bamberger from Karnei Shomron.

The terrorist then tried to enter the dining hall, but found that the door was latched shut. Israeli security officials subsequently said that the locked door prevented an even more devastating attack, but they were unable to clarify who had locked the door. One version has After locking the door before he was killed, to protect his yeshiva colleagues; his corpse was found close to the door. Alternatively, the men in the dining hall might have locked the door from their side. The terrorist, in any case, fired through the door, wounding five people in the dining hall, one seriously and the others lightly. The wounded were taken to Beer Sheva's Soroka Medical Center and to Hadassah-Ein Kerem in Jerusalem.
Shabbat Shalom, and a quiet, peaceful Shabbat to one and all.

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