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July 2, 2008: Terror

July 2, 2008

An Arab resident of eastern Jerusalem , in possession of an Israeli residency card, murdered at least three people and injured some 66 today when he went on a terrorist rampage utilizing a bulldozer at the junction of Jaffe Road and Sarei Yisrael Street, not far from the Central Bus Station in Jerusalem. The man is reported to have had a criminal record.

Husam Taysir Dwayat, a 30 year old husband and father , who lived in the Sur Bahir neighborhood of southeastern Jerusalem, was driving the bulldozer because he was working on construction near the entrance to Jerusalem for the light rail being established for the city. He drove the heavy machine away from the construction site and headed for a main intersection, where he began his insane attack — turning over buses and squashing cars and leaving a swath of destruction in his path.

According to reports, in one instance a woman tossed her baby out the window of her car before it was crushed with her inside.


Moshe Plesser, 18, a soldier on furlough from the elite Egoz unit of the Golani Brigades, witnessed the rampage as he was riding his bike down Jaffa Road. Throwing his bike down, he took off after the bulldozer on foot, shouting for a gun as he ran. Plesser, aided by a civilian, climbed the bulldozer and was handed his assistant’s weapon. Dwayat cried "Allah Ahkar! (God is great! — what Muslim terrorists cry before killing Jews) and Plesser shot him in the head three times.

Immediately following this, Eli Mizrahi, a police officer from the elite Yassam anti-terror unit, climbed aboard and finished the terrorist for good.

Plesser — who is the brother-in-law of David Shapira, the IDF officer who killed the Mercaz Rav Yeshiva terrorist in March — said, "I think I did what is expected from every soldier and citizen…I thank God who gave me and my brother-in-law the strength to do what we did." He credited his nationalist religious education and special army training with giving him the ability to do what he did.


There are reports of at least three terror groups taking credit : Al Aksa Brigades (Fatah), the Galilee Freedom Battalion, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. But police are saying that there was no advance warning of an attack and are speculating that this man may actually have acted alone. That seems to me a premature judgment. I am SO cynical that I wonder if it’s not easier — more politically correct — to say this than to finger a group that is associated with the PA as responsible.


It is of more than a little concern that this is the second instance in a row of a terror attack inside Jerusalem perpetrated by someone with residency rights in Jerusalem. There is talk now about limiting the mobility of such residents within the city and taking punitive measures against the family that remains. The home of the Mercaz Rav attacker was not demolished, but it is very likely that this man’s home will be.


I regret that the transmission of this report was delayed first by a computer glitch and then by a power outage! Tomorrow is another day and further information will undoubtedly follow before long.




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