News Digest — 4/8/22

Morning Prayer At The Site Of Tel Aviv Attack

The Rosh Yehudi Association, which works with young professionals to deepen their connection to Judaism, organized a morning prayer service near the site of Thursday’s (7th) brutal terrorist attack in Tel Aviv, which left two dead and eight others wounded.

Chairman of the association, Israel Zeira, quoted the Bible, saying, “The Jewish people were redeemed from slavery in Egypt in the Hebrew month of Nissan and the future redemption will also take place in the same month.”

“We gathered here this morning (Friday, 8th) to pray and send our love to the families who lost their loved ones, wish the wounded a speedy recovery, and offer our support to the security forces,” said Zeira.

“The eternal nation of Israel is not afraid to face its enemies,” he vowed, inviting the public to participate in Shabbat prayers at Dizengoff Square in the city center.



2 Killed, 9 Wounded In Terrorist Attack In Tel Aviv; After 9 Hours, Terrorist Killed In Shootout

Two Israelis were killed and nine others were wounded on Thursday evening (7th) in a terrorist attack in the heart of Tel Aviv.  Initial reports from the scene suggested there may have been more than one shooter involved.  As of 10:15 p.m. the terrorist was still at large and a massive manhunt for him was underway in the city.

According to Magen David Adom, eight people, all in their 20s, were rushed to the Sourasky Medical Center.  Two of the wounded were said to be in critical condition and died shortly after arriving at the hospital.  Two others were in serious condition.  Two more were in moderate-to-serious condition and another two sustained minor injuries.

People were asked to stay inside while the manhunt was in progress.  In a highly unusual move, the transportation Ministry halted all bus and taxi services in Tel Aviv, in compliance with police orders, Channel 12 News reported.

Reports of the shooting were made at about 9 p.m. when MDA’s emergency call center received calls of a shooting on Tel Aviv’s Dizengoff Street, a bustling center filled with restaurants.  Dozens of troops, including police, Border Police, Mounted Police and counterterrorism troops rushed to the scene.

Police Commissioner Yaakov Shabtai and Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai both were at the scene before 9:30 pm.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Defense Minister Benny Gantz made their way to the IDF’s headquarters in Tel Aviv to receive regular updates about the attack.

The European Union’s Ambassador to Israel Dimiter Tzantshev condemned the attack saying “The EU stands with Israel.”

The recent wave of terrorism has been characterized by shooting attacks, with deadly incidents in Beersheba, Hadera, and Bnei Brak claiming the lives of 11 Israelis in March.

Tensions ahead of Ramadan have been rising, and the police are on high alert nationwide, especially in Jerusalem, where Friday (8th) prayers will usher in the holy Muslim month.

UPDATE:  After a nine hour manhunt, the terrorist of Thursday night’s shooting in Tel Aviv, 28-year-old Ra’ad Fathi Hazem from Jenin, was found in a Jaffa mosque by Shin Bet personnel and the Yamam counter-terror unit who had come to inspect security footage.  Hazem opened fire at the security personnel who returned fire and killed him.  None of the Israelis were hurt.

According to Hebrew media reports, Hazem knew the Jaffa area well and planned to hide in the mosque overnight, then leave amid a crowd of Arabs after Friday (8th) Ramadan prayers.

Hazem killed two Israelis in the Thursday night (7th) attack who have been identified as Eitam Megini, 28, and Tomer Morad, 28, both from Kfar Saba.



Palestinians Celebrate Deadly Shooting, Mock Manhunt For Terrorist

Residents of both the Palestinian Authority and terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip celebrated the deadly terror attack in Tel Aviv Thursday night (7th) that claimed two lives and wounded nine.

They were also celebrating – again and again –the three previous attacks that took place in the past two weeks throughout Israel – in Beersheba, Hadera and Bnei Brak – that claimed 11 lives.

The mosques in Gaza praised the attack in Tel Aviv with calls of “Allahu Akbar” (Allah is the greatest).

Each time an attack occurred, Palestinians throughout the PA and Gaza handed out candy and sweets to the public, saluting the terrorists.

“We welcome the operation in Tel Aviv, a direct result of Israel’s ongoing aggression against the land and the holy sites,” Mahmoud al-Zahar, a senior Hamas figure stated Thursday night (7th), translated by Abu Ali Express.

After Thursday’s  (7th) attack a manhunt was underway in Israel for the shooter.  According to popular Telegram blogger Abu Ali Express, its most viral photos mocked Israeli police as they searched for the suspect, showing multiple police officers with their guns drawn.  



National Security Council Updates Most Dangerous Travel Destinations For Israelis

Israel’s National Security Council Counter-Terrorism Bureau on Thursday (7th) issued an updated travel warning for 198 countries across the globe, designating Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain as level-3 travel risks.

The southern portion of the Sinai Peninsula was designated as a level-4 travel threat, which is the most severe.

“Over the past year and a half, Iran and its proxies have intensified their activities abroad,” the NSC’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau said in a statement.  “Within this framework, Iranian elements have repeatedly threatened to harm Israeli targets, and reflect an increasing motivation on the part of Iran to harm Israelis and Jews around the world.  Throughout 2021, several Iranian plots were foiled to assassinate Israelis in Columbia, Cyprus, and Turkey.”

“The assessment is that in the near future, Iran will continue acting to promote attacks against Israeli targets across the globe.  Areas with a higher probability of such activities are countries near Iran, as well as enemy countries of those with which Israel does not have official diplomatic relations.”

“In recent months, we have seen increased efforts by Iranian elements to make undercover contact with Israelis for the purpose of targeting them.  Behaving in accordance with travel warning directives could minimize the odds of these plots being successful.”

“Global Jihadists and radical Islamist organizations, with an emphasis on the Islamic State group (ISIS) and their supporters, continue displaying motivation to carry out attacks, including against Israel and Jewish targets, in various countries across the globe.  This is supported by public declarations, made by the heads of these organizations, calling for Israelis and Jews to be harmed.  These organizations have networks and are extremely active in Africa, the Middle East (with emphasis on northern Sinai), and Asia,” the NSC’s Counter-Terrorism Bureau concluded.

The bureau recommends the following to Israelis abroad:  maintain a high level of alert and awareness regarding any unusual phenomena; reject any enticing or unexpected proposals and refuse to accept any unexpected gifts or offers from suspicious or unknown sources; decline invitations to unexpected meetings, especially in remote places, and go to meetings with reliable companions.

These warnings come ahead of the Passover holiday when many Israelis travel abroad.



Former Irish Justice Minister: Apartheid Claims Over Palestinians A “Big Lie” – Cormac McQuinn

Former Irish Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has branded Amnesty International’s use of the term “apartheid” to describe Israel’s treatment of Palestinians as a “headline-catching big lie” at a meeting of the Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs on Tuesday (5th).  He said the Amnesty report misrepresents a territorial and political conflict relating to Israeli and Palestinian nationhood and identity as a racial conflict.

Shatter said the committee – which has been holding meetings on the report – is “on the wrong side of history.”  He argued that the committee has had nothing positive to say on recent peace deals between Israel and some Arab countries and “nothing also is ever said about how Palestinian political parties, terrorist and civil groups celebrate in Gaza, Jerusalem and West Bank all of the murderous terrorist atrocities against Israel.”  He said the obstacle to peace was “the incapacity of people on the Palestinian side to constructively engage.”

Yousef Haddad, an Arab-Israel citizen, told the committee, “It is true that Israel is a Jewish state but it is also a democratic state.  While Israel is imperfect, every day Arabs and Jews are standing side-by-side working to resolve the problems in our society.  Do you know what doesn’t help our society?  Europeans and Amnesty International telling our sovereign nation of Arabs and Jews how to run our country.”