Friday’s horrific terror attack that cost the lives of Rabbi Yaakov Litman and his son Netanel will forever stain the site where the family’s van was torn apart in a shooting by Arab terrorists.
The attack took place on Route 60 near the southern Judean Jewish community of Otniel, where terrorists opened fire as the Kiryat Arba family’s vehicle drove by. They were heading for the Be’er Sheva suburb of Meitar to spend the Sabbath celebrating the impending nuptials of one of the daughters.
A 15-year-old son sitting in the back was wounded as the bullets were flying in the front.
But while the rabbi’s shocked and terrified wife and three daughters watched helplessly as the murderers emptied the clips into their loved ones’ bodies, a miracle was still on the way.
Fourteen bullets into the attack, a terrorist jerked open the car door in the back, clearly intending to finish off the rest of the family.
One of the girls shouted out at him instead.
And suddenly, oddly, the attacker discovered his gun was jammed, according to the Hebrew-language NRG news site.
Unable to shoot, he fled.
In less than 48 hours, he was caught.
Israel’s security establishment also arrested several accomplices.
Ultimately, terrorists can run, but they can’t hide from Israel.
Shin Bet agents together with IDF soldiers from the Yehuda Brigade and the elite Duvdevan Hebron unit captured a suspect in connection with the terror attack on Friday (Nov. 13) that murdered Rabbi Jacob Litman and his son Netanel Litman near Otniel, in Judea. Additional suspects were captured as well.
During the course of the arrest, the murder weapon and vehicle used in the attack were both discovered as well.
Initial investigation and interrogation by the Shin Bet confirmed the suspect’s connection with Friday’s terror attack, according to a statement by security sources. Further details about the investigation remain under a gag order at the present time, the Shin Bet said.
A third family member was also wounded in the attack. The family, from Kiryat Arba, was traveling to a Shabbat weekend in Meitar, located about a mile past the Yattir checkpoint inside the 1949 Armistice Line, in order to celebrate the upcoming nuptials of their daughter.
But instead, Rabbi Litman and his son Netanel, a paramedic with Magen David Adom, were laid to rest Saturday night at 9 pm. President Reuven Rivlin, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, GOC Central Command Roni Numa, and Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan were among the hundreds of Israelis who attended the funeral as the two family members were laid to rest.
In addition to Netanel’s heartbroken brother and bride-to-be sister, President Reuven Rivlin eulogized the father and son as well. Mincing no words, Rivlin warned the rest of the world: “The scenes of death and bloodshed we have witnessed in Paris, throughout the Middle East, and here in our country, should serve as a warning to us all.
“Whether in Paris or Hebron, Jerusalem or New York, we must fight a bitter and stubborn struggle against those who massacre innocent people, against those who murder in cold blood.”
The IDF has pledged to increase patrols on roads in the southern Hebron Hills, where the attack took place, and in general to further beef up security in the region. It is clear the Palestinian Authority Arabs are hoping to frighten those who live in the area and those who travel to and from their communities as well — scare them enough, in fact, so that they will leave.
The answer to such tactics is to stand together, stand strong and to strengthen the settlements. Cowering in the face of terror has only ever emboldened terrorists in the past.
Palestinian Arabs in Hebron were handing out candies Tuesday afternoon to celebrate the murder of an Israeli Jew in a stone-throwing terror attack near Kiryat Arba.
The victim, a resident of the Jewish community situated next the Hebron, was driving near the al-Fawar junction when his car came under a hail of rocks hurled by Palestinian Arab terrorists. He was forced to exit the vehicle due to the damage sustained by the car, and then was hit by a truck driven by a Palestinian Arab.
The second driver fled the scene and drove to the village of Dahariya, a suburb of Hebron, where he turned himself in to Palestinian Authority Police. PA Police then turned the driver over to Israel Police for questioning, according to Israel Radio.
ISIS terrorists have been urging Palestinian Arabs to increase their attacks on Jews and have even offered video tutorials on how best to accomplish these goals.
In the past 72 hours, nearly a dozen such videos have been uploaded by the terror organization to the Internet. Some of them criticize Hamas as well as Fatah, claiming that both factions are too secular and that neither has the interests of Palestinian Arabs at heart.
Four videos were released on Sunday night alone, and another three were uploaded on Monday. All urged attacks on Israelis.
Some offered instructions on exactly how to murder Jews – by using vehicles, knives, firebombs hurled at homes, bombing buses, injecting air into Jews’ veins – that last, a directive aimed at the numerous Israeli Arabs employed by medical centers and HMOs in the country.
The videos also featured unmasked ISIS terrorists praising the recent terror attacks against Israelis in Jerusalem and urge other Palestinian Arabs to emulate their example.
“Strike fear into their hearts. They are the enemy of Allah,” says one terrorist. “A victory is coming to the fighters of Al Aqsa from Above … you are the ones to begin [this] but we will [join you] and continue [the fight],” says another.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also noticed local Arab terrorism slowly drifting towards an even more radical form of Islam than it has subscribed to in past years.
“What we are seeing here is a combination of the radical Islam and the Internet,” he told a meeting of the Likud party faction on Monday. “Osama Bin Laden meets Mark Zuckerberg. The incitement in the social networks is moving the murders. We are seeing this clearly,” he said.
The current wave of terror began with a completely unfounded rumor that Israel was planning to “change the status quo” at the Temple Mount, site of the Al Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock.
Jerusalem’s holiest and most sensitive site for Jews, it is believed to be the location of the “Holy of Holies” of both ancient Jewish Holy Temples. It is also the third holiest site in the world in Islam, referred to by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary.
Under an agreement signed between Israel and Jordan, non-Muslim visitors are allowed to tour the grounds but cannot enter the mosques; Muslim worshipers are welcomed to enter the mosques to pray. Day-to-day operations at the site are carried out under the Islamic Waqf Authority, and Israeli security personnel works together with Authority staff to maintain calm at the site.
This status quo has been maintained without any change whatsoever since the signing of the peace treaty between Israel and the Kingdom of Jordan in 1994, and Israel has continued to maintain there will be no changes.
Palestinian Arabs who attempt to smuggle explosives, rocks, firebombs, firecrackers, ammunition and other weapons into the mosque in order to stockpile an arsenal at the site for use against Israelis and other visitors, however, are in effect themselves changing the status quo, Netanyahu pointed out.
The issue of the Temple Mount — where no changes whatsoever have been made since the site returned to Jewish hands — has been a convenient red herring with which to stir up Islamic sentiment in Israel and worldwide, however.
ISIS media moguls are highly skilled at “catching the wave” in mass media manipulation, not only in Israel but elsewhere, and for all ages.
Turkey Also in the Crosshairs
Turkey is also being targeted. An ISIS training camp for children was discovered in Istanbul, according to the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet Daily News, which quoted the daily Vatan.
A total of 24 suspects were detained two days ago (Oct. 18) on suspicion of having links to Da’esh in Istanbul. The children, who were of Tajik and Uzbek descent, were allegedly being trained by ISIS in basement apartments in the ancient Turkish city’s Pendik and Basaksehir districts.
The suspects were reported to having used the basement apartments as terrorist training camps, according to physical and technical surveillance carried out by the Istanbul Police Department’s Counterterrorism Unit.
Kiryat Arba resident Avraham Asher Hasano, 50, was murdered Tuesday in a stone-throwing terror attack by Arabs as he drove south of Hebron.
Hasano was attacked while driving past the al-Fawar junction. He was forced to stop his vehicle due to the damage wreaked by Palestinian Arabs who pelted the car with rocks as it passed.
When Hasano got out of the car he was struck by a truck driven by a Palestinian Arab, who then fled to the Palestinian Authority-controlled village of Dahariya, near Hebron.
The victim lay on the road helpless “for quite some time,” according to a spokesperson for the Hebron Hills Jewish community, who said passing Arab residents did nothing to help him but did snap photos of the dying man, which they uploaded to the Internet.
An IDF paramedic who arrived at the scene attempted to treat Hasano with first aid, but it was too late. Medics were forced to pronounce the death of the victim at the scene after all attempts to save him failed, Magen David Adom confirmed.
The hit-and-run driver subsequently turned himself in to Palestinian Authority police, according to Israel Radio. He has been transferred to Israel Police for questioning.
The man said he hit the victim accidentally but fled because he feared for his life in the current atmosphere.
He claimed that because his own vehicle had also been hit by rocks just moments earlier, he didn’t realize the victim had stopped and gotten out of his vehicle.
A spokesperson for the Hebron Hills Jewish community said Tuesday that passing Arabs snapped photos but did not help the 50-year-old Jewish man who lay dying after a terror attack near Kiryat Arba.
“The incident began with rocks … and the victim’s vehicle was damaged by rocks,” said the spokesperson. “The victim left his car because of this. A truck ran him over and fled to Dahariyya (a village near Hebron). It is not clear whether it was intentional, this ‘accident.’
“The victim lay there for quite a while and received no assistance from anyone, naturally, while passing Arabs photographed him lying there on the road.
“The person from whom he received first aid was an IDF paramedic.
“The victim is a resident of Kiryat Arba,” the spokesperson added. “At this stage, please do not publish his name or photo (if you see it in Arab or foreign media.) This is what we know of the incident at this point. May we hear only good news.”