August 21, 2023
Heinous Times Two!!
Batsheva Nagri, 40, a mother of three girls, was shot dead by terrorists this morning (Monday), while driving in the south Hebron Hills in Judea.
Her six-year-old daughter was in the backseat of the car and witnessed the murder. I read one report indicating that miraculously the child was unharmed. Are they for real? Her body may have emerged unscathed, but how can you describe a child who witnessed such a shooting “unharmed??”
Batsheva lived in Beit Hagai, in the Hebron Hills. She had grown up in Efrat, where her family (Ravid) lives, and was still active there: working as a kindergarten teacher, as well as a volunteer youth coordinator. The community, where she was much loved, is reeling. Said one neighbor, “She had an infectious laugh… and always volunteered with a huge smile.”
Aryeh Gotlieb, 40, also from Beit Hagai, was caught in the attack as well. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition. He had given Batsheva and her daughter a ride.
Please pray for the quick recovery of Aryeh Leib ben Ella.
Aryeh’s brother-in-law described him as “a good husband and amazing father to six sweet children, who went to buy schoolbooks.”
The attack took place on Route 60, close to the Beit Hagai junction. According to an initial investigation, the terrorists blocked Arye’s car at an intersection and then began shooting.
At least 22 bullets pierced the car.
The terrorists escaped and it is believed that they headed towards Hebron. There is a massive manhunt underway; Hebron and neighboring villages have been surrounded.
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has held a situational meeting, in order to be briefed, and the IDF has reported that it will be bolstering Judea & Samaria with an additional infantry battalion and two companies.
A Security Cabinet meeting that was scheduled to be held in September has been moved by Prime Minister Netanyahu to next week.
The response to this attack is going to be (had better be!) particularly strong because it was the second terrorist attack in less than 48 hours.
Shai Silas Nigreker, 60, a native of India, and his son, Aviad Nir, 28, were murdered by a terrorist on Saturday in the Palestinian Arab town of Huwara, south of Shechem (Nablus) in Samaria.
Anyone who follows news about terrorist attacks is all too familiar with the name Huwara.
According to the preliminary investigation, the terrorist entered Huwara on foot at a location on the road where security was not reinforced. He then headed towards a car wash, where Nigreker’s car was being serviced after he and his son had run errands. The terrorist identified the two as Israelis when they spoke in Hebrew and fired five bullets at them at point-blank range.
He escaped on foot and has not yet been found; his weapon was discovered.
There are many yet unanswered questions here. What I wonder is what drew the terrorist to that carwash. According to Nigreker’s wife, he went into Huwara very frequently and everyone there knew him. “He was not afraid, and he would say, ‘Those are my friends there.’”
There are Israelis who go into Huwara because goods and services are substantially cheaper there.
Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant held a press conference this evening in which they declared that the current terror offensive which we are dealing with, “is encouraged, planned, and funded by Iran and her satellites.”
This may be, but it is not a sufficient answer. Action is required that staunches the deadly flow of attacks. Already there have been more attacks this year than in all of 2022.
MK Itamar Gvir (head, Otzma Yehudit) says that Gallant’s policy is weak. He intends to propose actions to combat terrorism at the Security Cabinet meeting:
 placing of closures on Palestinian Authority cities
 denying work permits to Palestinian Arabs
 placing of checkpoints and roadblocks
 restoring the practice of targeted assassinations of terrorist leaders
Ben-Gvir told his close associates: “This is a wave of terrorism that cannot be taken off the agenda, Defense Minister Gallant’s policy is weak against the severe wave of terrorism.”
And then you have Boaz Bismuth (Likud), a member of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, who wants to introduce a law to increase punishment for terrorists’ accomplices:
“anyone who helps a lowly terrorist before or after a terror attack – whether by hiding him, whether by allowing him to make a phone call, or even by giving him a sip of water – he is a terrorist…
With laughable sentences, we do not deter terror. It’s time to increase the severity of the punishments for those terrorists, who are only ‘accomplices.’”
There is a great deal more to say on this topic. I am going to put this out and continue in my next posting.
© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by independent journalist Arlene Kushner. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution.