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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

And again: Terror in Jerusalem (live blog)

An Arab driving a bulldozer rammed into a bus and other vehicles on Jaffa Street, Jerusalem's busiest street, a short while ago. He was shot and killed by police, who apparently waited way too long because of the strict 'open fire orders.' Anywhere from two to four people have been killed and 'dozens' have been wounded. The driver was apparently an 'east' Jerusalem Arab. He drove from Sarei Yisrael Street into Jaffa Road, not far from the entrance to the city and started driving towards the center of town before he was stopped. I will be in live blog mode for a little while with this story.The police apparently know the terrorist as a criminal. More to follow.


The terrorist left a construction site on Sarei Yisrael Street and turned into Jaffa Road, the busiest street in the city. He knocked over a bus (#13 bus that left Malcha Mall at 11:30) and then started running over cars. Another bus driver managed to avoid the bulldozer. The latest count according to Israel Radio has three dead and 36 wounded - two of them seriously, four moderately and the rest lightly.

Arutz Sheva has some details:
A very large Arab-driven tractor rammed into a bus - and other vehicles - and turned it completely on its side on Jaffa Street in downtown Jerusalem. Two policemen were able to climb the tractor; they struggled with the terrorist-driver, but only after a short time did they shoot and kill him. "This is because the open-fire orders are stupid," said eyewitness and veteran [broadcast. CiJ] journalist Yitzchak Noi.


Magen David Adom sources confirm that the incident, which began at the intersection of Jaffa and Sarei Yisrael Streets, was a terror attack. The Arab attacker also damaged at least three cars and two buses. One Toyota car, for instance, is totally crushed; the woman driver was killed.

Construction work on the new light-railway is taking place in the area, and Arab workers are a common sight.

An emergency situation has been declared in the capital.

The overturned bus is located outside the old Shaarei Tzedek building, the current offices and studios of the Israel Broadcasting Authority. Several reporters were eyewitnesses to the attack.
Haaretz adds:
A Palestinian man deliberately plowed the bulldozer he was driving into a bus on Jaffa Street in downtown Jerusalem shortly after noon Wednesday, killing at least two people and wounding dozens more.

Israel Radio said one of the dead was a woman who had been driving a Toyota at the scene of the attack. Police shot and killed the driver of the bulldozer, a Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem in possession of an Israeli identification card and a criminal police record.


"I saw the tractor's shovel turn to the bus and deliberately hit it. It hit other vehicles as well," another Israel Radio reporter said.

Emergency vehicles rushed to the scene, where the single-decker commuter bus, its side slashed by the tractor, lay on its side. The Toyota driven by the woman killed in the attack was reportedly flattened.

At least three other vehicles appeared to sustain damage, including a van whose entire front section was crushed.

The incident marked was the first terror attack in Jerusalem since a gunman killed eight students in a religious school in March. The attack came nearly two weeks into a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

The attack occurred in an area where Jerusalem is building a new train system. The project has turned many parts of the city into a big construction zone.
Israel Radio is now reporting that the driver drove fast down the street and managed to drive 500-600 meters before he was stopped.


Here's a report from Sky News. Let's go to the videotape.


An 'unknown terror group' has claimed responsibility for today's terror attack.
A terrorist group calling itself Ahrad Al-Jalil said it was behind Wednesday's terrorist attack in Jerusalem, but Israeli authorities are not certain if the group actually it exists. The same unknown group has claimed responsibility for previous attacks.

Gaze terrorist organizations said that the terrorist, who rammed a bulldozer into pedestrians and vehicles, acted independently.
But we've heard of this group before. They originally took responsibility for the Merkaz HaRav terror attack in March (which later turned out to be Hamas). And that attack too was carried out by an Arab from 'east' Jerusalem with a blue Israeli identity card.


Apparently it wasn't the police who killed the terrorist, and at least for one Jerusalem family, killing terrorists is all in the family.
A soldier on leave took the gun from an elite policeman at the scene and shot the terrorist dead. The soldier, M[full-name removed by court order - see subsequent post], 18, is the brother-in-law of IDF officer David Shapira, who killed the terrorist in the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva attack, Channel 10 reported.
I guess he decided he couldn't care less about the open fire orders. Thank God!


Listening to a press conference with the police commander Ilan Franco on the radio.

The terrorist was a 30-year old married father of two from Tzur Baher, an Arab village in the southeastern part of the city (near East Talpiyot). Tzur Baher is generally not considered a difficult village. It's not far from Jabal Mukaber, the home of the Merkaz HaRav terrorist. As far as they know, he acted alone. He worked for a construction company.


Haaretz has eyewitness accounts from the attack scene.
"I saw the bulldozer smash the car with its shovel. He smashed the guy sitting in the driver's seat," said Yaakov Ashkenazi, an 18-year-old yeshiva student.

"I was shocked. I saw a guy going crazy," said Yosef Spielman. "All the people were running. They had no chance."

Dozens of people were seen fleeing from the scene of the attack, as the wounded lay on the ground amid piles of broken glass and blood stains.

A woman sprinkled water over a baby's bloodied face, a rescue worker stroked the hair of a dazed elderly pedestrian and a loved one raised the bleeding leg of a woman sitting outside the overturned bus.

Esther Valencia, a 52-year-old pedestrian said she barely escaped the carnage.

"He almost hit me. Someone pushed me out of the way at the last moment. It was a miracle that I got out of there."

Sixteen-year-old Eyal Lang Ben-Hur, was in a bus when the driver yelled out, "Get out of the vehicle! Everyone out! People fled in a panic," he said, "and the bus was hit an instant later."

Chen Shimon, a 19-year-old solider, said the whole scene was a nightmare.

"I just got off the bus and I saw the tractor driving and knocking everything down in his path," she said. "Everything he saw he rammed. He had a gun and started shooting at a police officer."
City officials have already said that they want to destroy the terrorist's house. The home of the Merkaz HaRav terrorist still has not been destroyed.


The BBC has footage that shows the terrorist being stopped. Let's go to the videotape.


Here's a video from FoxNews that has the best description I've seen or heard yet of how the terrorist was stopped (Hat Tip: Hot Air). Let's go to the videotape.


I now have footage of the terrorist being shot so let's go to the videotape again.


At 1:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Channel 2 TV reports that the soldier that shot and killed the terrorist is the brother-in-law of David Shapiro, who shot and killed the terrorist in the Merkaz Harav Kook attack months ago.

As Channel 2's reporter Moshe Nussbaum said, if not all terrorist attacks in Jerusalem, the vast majority of them are perpetrated by or involve East Jerusalem Arabs.

Im Ein Aravim, Ein Piguim. If there are no Arabs, there would be no terrorist attacks. Ve'Hameivin Yavin.

At 1:30 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

We have the two Ehuds who tied the hands of the police. The blood of those slain is upon their heads. My condolences go to the victims of this terrorist atrocity.

At 1:37 PM, Blogger Michael Travis said...

CNN's Pro-Terror Reporter Ben Wedemen seized the opportunity to launch a verbal attack against the capital's elite anti-terrorist police...implying that their tactics of using [dirt-bike] motorcycles, pistols, and mini-uzis is somehow unfair to the terror community.

Another example of bad Israelis making life intolerable for the poor, downtrodden, "Palestinians".

At 1:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This took place outside of CNN's Jerusalem office. Go to CNN's video page. There's a 1 minute 48 second clip with Wedemen reporting but no mention of what Michael's refering to.

At 1:48 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

If there's a lesson in the incident today, its not to hire Arabs for construction projects in the Jewish parts of the city. For this negligence, three Jews lost their lives. The death toll could have been a lot higher had security not intervened and even that might have been prevented.

At 1:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Norman, it's not clear yet whether the terrorist was a construction worker or whether he commandeered the bulldozer.

Besides, the past has shown that it's not safe to rely on Arabs as medical workers nor as cooks and waiters in restaurants.

Hiring Arabs for any trade is hazardous to Israel's health. Ve'Hameivin Yavin.

At 1:56 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

I wonder if the Arab too had an Israeli identity card. After all that was known about this situation back in March, one would think the movement of Arabs into Jewish Jerusalem has been considerably tightened. Apparently it hasn't been.

At 1:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Police are now reporting live that the car completely crushed under the bulldozer, which was just removed, initially had a mother and baby inside. It appears that the mother managed to throw the baby out to safety before she herself got crushed to death. Hashem Yikom Damah.

This is most probably the baby in Sha'arei Tzedek hospital whose parents remain unidentified.

At 2:00 PM, Blogger Michael Travis said...

Shy Guy...Wedeman was on CNN (U.S.) live for over an hour. Actually, Wedeman's comments were quite mild compared to what he spewed as Beirut bureau-chief (CNN International) during the 90's.

At 2:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, E. Jerusalem terrorist with an Israel ID card.

At 2:01 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Shy Guy, the entire point of the process directed on the Palestinian issue is to disengage Israel from the Arabs. This is a process that needs to be accelerated for Israel's security. What should be done is not to make it easier for Arabs to reach Israel but the reverse: to maintain as wide a berth between Jews and Arabs as possible since Arabs will only export terror to Israel and to murder Jews.

Its quite possible the Arab may have just commandeered the bulldozer and what he subsequently did has illustrated for Israelis why separating the two peoples on all levels of life is more important than ever.

At 2:04 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Just as I thought Shy Guy - with Israeli ID cards they are able to get around with no questions asked. That situation must definitely be rectified. If three Jews murdered aren't enough to get it done, what will? The bloodbath at Mercaz Ha Rav should have been sufficient motivation to make life in Jerusalem secure.

At 2:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Norman, I'm all for shipping every last one of them to Jordan, Egypt, Dubai, Tibuktu and Detroit. :)

Police now reporting that he did work on construction site. Married with 2 baby terrorists, and a criminal record.

The name of the Border Policeman who shot him is Eli Mizrachi, being interviewed on Ch. 1 right now.

At 2:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excuse, policeman was a Yasamnik, not border police.

At 2:09 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

I think of the mother and her foresight in saving her child while being ruthlessly murdered for the crime of being a Jew and yes - I do lay the blame for what happened squarely at the feet of a cowardly and morally bankrupt Israeli government more concerned with appeasing terrorists than with protecting Jewish lives. And now a baby has to grow up never knowing his mother.

At 2:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michael, the Yasamnik who killed the terrorist was exactly one of those guys on a fast motorcycle, armed with automatic weapons, who can cut through the city 10 times faster than cops in a squad car stuck in traffic.

You know what CNN can do with their whining.......

At 2:15 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

How does someone with a criminal record get a job at a construction site? Something fell apart in the system. People who should have done their job either ignored or overlooked all the signs. It was just a matter of time before something terrible happened. Eli Mizrachi is a good man in my book. There are still people in Israel brave enough to do the right thing in the face of an indifferent system... indifferent to human life and questions of security and national sovereignty. The leaders of the government should be asked why releasing Samir Kuntar is more important than the life of a Jewish mother.

At 2:22 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Shy Guy, the soldier was Moshe Klessner. Its not clear if Eli Mizrachi did the shooting. As Carl has it - this young man made Israel very proud. The country may have rotten leaders who sell out Jewish honor to the lowest bidder but it still has soldiers in the IDF who reinforce one's faith in Jews who will fight for their people in the face of danger. Kol Hakavod!

At 2:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm basing the fact that Eli Mizrachi bagged the beast on the live interview with him just a few minutes ago.

At 2:32 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

In all of this I'm struck by the relative who killed the terrorist today being the brother in law of David Shapiro. It seems Hashem sees to it certain people in this world get to fulfill a mizvot. I mean what happened in that respect is not random at all. There is no doubt when G-d chooses to intervene in life's affairs, the signs of His presence are unmistakable. That was here today, alright.

At 2:44 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

I keep thinking of those whose lives were spared. We read in the High Holiday liturgy that G-d decides who will live and who will die and we owe Him all our lives and when He saves us from certain death, we owe Him everlasting thanks and gratitude. I'm sure that's how those who weren't killed today felt. And when G-d had seen the life of that mother taken, He will do whatever is necessary to make it right by the child that lived. Because He has a debt to pay and it will be paid in full. Baruch Hashem!

At 2:45 PM, Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

Expel his family to gaza, strip any and all citizenship rights at once...

destroy his house and bury his body in a pig skin then drop it in the sea

At 2:48 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The house of the Mercaz HaRav terrorist also needs to be demolished. Its an affront to justice and no Jew should rest until it is gone!

At 3:38 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

It would make far more sense to crush Hamas and Fatah than to knock down the occasional house.

At 3:48 PM, Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

how about a massive sweep of all israeli arabs with any criminal or terrorist ties and then expulsion to gaza? (including any arab MK that has visited hezbollah)

At 4:58 PM, Blogger Lydia McGrew said...

What exactly are the open fire orders that these policeman were hog-tied by?

Is there any possibility (I certainly pray not) that the off-duty soldier who shot the guy will get in any trouble for doing so?

(It's funny, I was _just_ involved in a discussion about the importance of men stepping up to the plate to defend the innocent. Just this morning, with some people who think Christians have to be pacifists. Grrr.)

At 5:13 PM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...

All of you who have been commenting and are confused about who did the shooting and when, watch the Fox video I just added at the bottom. They explain the whole thing.

At 10:20 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

There's an amazing column in the Hebrew Palestinian daily Haaretz by Bradley Burston who gets it: what the Palestinians do isn't a response to the "occupation" - no what drove the terrorist today was a sheer desire to kill Jews - as many as he could like the Nazis. How else do you explain his running over a car with a Jewish mother and a baby other than to intentionally snuff the life out of them? And we're supposed to believe the Palestinians will begin to treat Jews as human beings when they get their own reichlet? Yeah, right. I think they deserve absolutely nothing from Israel. Its time for Jews to be honest and admit the Palestinians would slaughter every last Jew in Israel if they ever got (G-d forbid the chance). A Jew is not commanded to show forbearance towards the descendants of Amalek. There are limits to Jewish civility and kindness, especially when the Jew being killed is a mother. It is time to stop turning the other cheek towards Israel's enemies.

At 10:49 PM, Blogger Lydia McGrew said...

Yaacov Lozowick on his blog is saying this _wasn't_ an IDF soldier but rather some sort of "SWAT" policeman? Huh? He sure looks like he's in civilian clothes to me.

Anyway, if any of you knows: Is there any chance that young man will get in any trouble for stopping this mayhem? Perhaps it sounds like a stupid question, and I apologize if so, but in today's world one sometimes has to worry about that possibility.

At 11:07 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Even Shimon Peres was proud of Moshe Plesser. And I think he got a reward. I'm sure G-d will look after this outstanding young man because of his mitzvah. He will go very far ahead in life. I used to be cynical but I now I see that G-d blesses a good person. They say character is revealed when people aren't looking. But G-d also shows us who a human being truly is when faced with a crisis. Moshe passed all of his tests. What you all saw today, you witnessed the hand of G-d on that man and as I was saying, the third degree of separation is just another way of saying that G-d is here and there's a line that you can follow from David Shapira to his brother in law today held by the One Who Knows All.

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