Photo Credit: Yaakov / Wikimedia
Palestinian Authority village, Beit Surik, home of Har Hadar terrorist, viewed from the Jerusalem suburb of Mevasseret Tzion
This is a map of a small Jewish village called “Har Adar”. To the right, you will see the Arab village of Bayt Surik. This morning, very early, dozens of Arabs woke up in that village, got dressed, had their breakfast and prepared to go to work.
One man said goodbye to his wife (or perhaps his wives) and left his four children. He was 37 years old…he’ll never be 38. He got dressed. I don’t know if he had breakfast. I don’t know if he told his wife or wives that he would never see them again. I don’t know if he kissed his children goodbye or even cared that within a few hours, they would be fatherless. Then again, I don’t know what kind of a father he was – perhaps they are better off.
He, like those dozens of other Arabs, made his way towards Har Adar. The area there is beyond beautiful. Like most villages, Har Adar is built…on top of a har…the Hebrew word for mountain. It is full of greenery, trees, beautiful streets and wonderful homes. The quality of life is amazing there – as it is in most small villages.
The man had a work permit. That means he is allowed to enter the village and work – perhaps in the small local market, perhaps building more such homes. Maybe he was a gardener or a painter. I don’t really know…and honestly, I don’t really care because in addition to getting dressed this morning, he did something else…he took a gun with him.
At the entrance to the village, the head of security was watching. Something seemed off. Perhaps the man had taken drugs, as many Arabs have done before they go to murder people; perhaps he was paying to his god. Whatever he was doing, something was off and the village’s security chief called him out of line…and the man pulled out the gun and fired.
Three people were murdered; the security chief is in the hospital in very serious condition. The man was permanently neutralized…his children made fatherless. Among the dead, so far announced, was a 20 year old border guard soldier. His name is Solomon Gavria. The second person was Yosef Asman, an Israeli Arab from Abu Ghosh. And amazingly enough, Arabs from the village of Bidu are rioting…somehow I don’t think it is because they are upset about the man murdering three Israelis.
And an important note, unlike most media outlets, I managed to write the events of this morning without once labeling Har Adar a “settlement” because in this case, if anything aided this man in his quest to murder people, it was the very nature of this small village.
I didn’t want to write about a terror attack today. I haven’t had a chance to write in a few weeks and there is so much on my mind, so much to write about. We went on vacation to Greece – 800 pictures and so many conversations I wanted to write about. Rosh Hashana has passed and Yom Kippur is approaching – so much to say…but that will wait because today three men were murdered; their families are in shock right now, funerals are being planned.
Mothers are crying, siblings are trying to understand how it is possible the last time they saw their brother was to be the last time. Perhaps there are wives who are now widows, children who are now orphans.
And Hamas is celebrating the attack. That too will be something to write about, anger to be released. But for now, there is only pain and the need to write about something that I didn’t want to write.
May the man now know that his god is nothing but a tool used by Palestinian leaders to stir him up and get him to murder people. That man now faces God, the true God…and even God won’t help him.
May God bless the memories of the men who were murdered and may they be forever remembered and honored. Had the terrorist not been singled out and stopped, he could have murdered so many more – families, children…these were saved today because of the brave action of these men.



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Paula R. Stern is CEO of WritePoint Ltd., a leading technical writing company in Israel. Her personal blog, A Soldier's Mother, has been running since 2007. She lives in Maale Adumim with her husband and children, a dog, too many birds, and a desire to write.