The horror is, of course, a terror attack:
This one was of particularly serious dimensions (not to imply that there are terror attacks not of serious dimensions). This report is not as complete as I would have hoped, as information is still lacking and much confusion remains. Yet I want this out before Shabbat and will follow with more as necessary.
It started a little after 9 PM on Dizengoff Street, a main thoroughfare in Tel Aviv. Thursday evening is a big time for going out, as many do not work on Friday. Dizengoff has many shops, bars, and cafes.
According to one report, the terrorist strolled down the street, then sat down on a bench and began to fire. The site of the initial shooting was a restaurant.
Then this terrorist and possibly one other ran through the streets, shooting at people in different locations.
Renan Shimon, 32, who was moderately wounded, described his experience:
“I went for a beer with a friend at [a nearby pub]. We sat outside and after a quarter of an hour the terrorist appeared in front of me and started shooting.
“I went down to the floor, we were looking for shelter and we stood on the beer kegs and I feel like I’m dripping with blood…”
In all at least ten were injured in the attacks; possibly more, as reports are unclear. Not all victims have been identified yet, as I write. Two young men were seriously shot and died in the hospital despite resuscitation efforts. Initial reports were that at least eight others were wounded, four in serious or critical condition, and an additional four in moderate-light condition. Doctors at Ichilov Hospital, where some of the more seriously injured were taken, operated simultaneously on four victims, fighting to save their lives.
There was one report I picked up indicating that one terrorist was eliminated, but I have not seen confirmation of this. At least one terrorist fled the scene, and was presumed to be hiding in a building along the street. The Israel Police released a description of him: He was wearing a black T-shirt, black pants and a blue backpack and was armed with a gun.
This picture of the man believed to be the terrorist, presumably taken by a cellphone or security camera, was circulated by police:
According to an Arutz Sheva report, the terrorist is believed to be a Palestinian Arab from the northern Samaria region. The IDF went into two Arab villages in the PA areas of Samaria tonight in connection with this attack. So there is clearly information that has not been made public, with regard to where the terrorist came from, or who might have knowledge of him.
In Tel Aviv, large numbers of security forces – more than 1,000 in total – were deployed in the search for him: from the police, the Border Police, the IDF, Yamam (an anti-terrorist force), and the Shin Bet. According to those on the scene, these forces could be seen running through the streets.
They will get him, perhaps by morning Israel time. I will certainly follow with more after Shabbat.
Palestinian Islamic Jihad welcomed the attack, and vowed to operate “without limits.”
While Hamas called this murderous mayhem a “natural response” to the “occupation”:
“The continuation of the occupations terrorism and crimes, and its attempts to Judaize Jerusalem, and to make sacrifices in the courtyards of the Al Aqsa Mosque to build their alleged temple…Our people will not allow that, and our resistance will stand by anyone who thinks of violating our sanctity and our sanctuary.”
“..attempts to make sacrifices in the courtyards of Al Aqsa Mosque”? Does anyone believe this? I suppose some do.
Please note, as I have been pointing out, the charge against Israel is couched in religious terms.
I did not see a report of either group specifically taking responsibility for this horrendous attack (although the words they did put out might imply as much).
What I did note is a report indicating that in Ramallah they were passing out candies.
Ramallah is the city where the Palestinian Authority is headquartered. And the report of glee from residents there (which is nothing new) sent me into a particular rage. For this report came on the same day that another report made the news:
“The Biden Administration is again pressuring the State of Israel to hold senior-level diplomatic talks with the Palestinian Authority, at the White House, according to a report by the Hebrew-language Walla! News outlet.”
Were it not for the terror attack, I would have been writing about politics in this posting. There is a great deal going on, and the situation is very fluid – with any of a number of scenarios possible. I am eager to look at all of this – and I believe that this terror attack is likely to impinge on the larger political situation. Terror moves the populace right.
Part of what needs to be examined, once again, is the impossible notion of a “two-state solution.”
© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by independent journalist Arlene Kushner. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution