If you follow news from Israel, it may seem that terrorist attacks happen all the time. However, due to Israel’s highly trained military and security forces, most attacks end without civilian casualties. Not so in the case of the horrific attack that took place on Tuesday this week in Beersheva. When an Israeli Arab citizen rammed a rabbi, and then chased down and stabbed multiple other people, four Jews were left dead, and others were injured. This is the worst terrorist attack that Israel has suffered for quite some time.
Interesting to note, is that this terrorist is not a Palestinian resident of Gaza, East Jerusalem, or Judea and Samaria. Rather, he is a Bedouin Arab who is an Israeli citizen. He was sentenced to four years in prison in 2016 for setting up an ISIS cell, incitement to terrorism, and for trying to enter Syria to join ISIS. He only received a light, four-year sentence because he expressed remorse for his actions and promised never to do it again. Unfortunately, the judge was much too lenient on this ruthless killer who committed a mass murder very shortly after he was released from prison.
Experts say that the attack that he committed could have been taken straight out of an ISIS training handbook.
First, he ran over a bicyclist with his vehicle. He then exited his car and stabbed a female employee at a gas station, as well as a passerby. He returned to his car, drove to a supermarket, then got out and stabbed three more people. In video footage, he can then be seen walking up and down the street with a large knife in his hand when he is confronted by a bus driver, who had drawn his personal handgun. When he refused to put down his knife and lunged at the driver, he was shot by both he and another nearby civilian with a handgun. The terrorist was killed, but not until four innocent Jewish civilians were left dead.
Michael Barak, a senior researcher at the Institute for Counter-Terrorism in Herzliya, said: “In principle, his activity is similar to ISIS. In its manuals, ISIS calls for ‘lone-wolf’ attackers to use vehicles for ramming attacks, and when these can’t drive any further, to stop and use sharp knives for stabbings”.
The four people who died from their wounds are Rabbi Moshe Kravitzky, Doris Yakhbas and Laura Yitzhak, each with 3 children, and Menachem Yehezkel. May their memory be for a blessing.
While this vile terrorist doesn’t deserve to have his name mentioned, a few things are worth noting. He was an Israeli citizen and a middle-school teacher in the Bedouin town of Hora, located close to Beersheva in Israel’s Negev region. He was a former member of ISIS, taught his middle-schoolers about ISIS, was convicted of incitement to violence and trying to cross into Syria to join the terror group, and was a frequent speaker at his local mosque.
He was given a four-year sentence with a year of probation after being convicted of his involvement with ISIS. Unfortunately, security forces failed to anticipate the horrendous attack that he carried out so soon after spending time in an Israeli prison.
This is the third stabbing attack in Israel in the last week.
While the world rants on about settler violence, illegal settlements in the “West Bank”, and creating a Palestinian state, innocent Jews are being murdered. Israel now not only has to be concerned about Fatah, Hamas, Islamic Jihadist, ISIS, Hezbollah, and other terrorist supporters within places like Gaza and the West Bank. Organizations like ISIS have supporters within Israel’s own ranks of citizens.
Israel needs support from the international community, especially evangelical Christians. Israel needs to have the strength to live, build, and grow as the only democratic Jewish nation in the world. They should not feel constrained to give in to Arab Islamic Jihadist terrorists, especially amongst their own citizens.