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What's Really Happening in Israel and ITC's Response - Oct 15, 2015

What's Really Happening

Tensions reached a new high on Tuesday as the current wave of terror spiraled into a "Day of Rage," during which the frequency and severity of terror attacks escalated throughout Israel.

In addition, several violent Palestinian protests occurred in Bethlehem, Sakhnin, Nazareth and Gaza. Masses of rioters in Gaza continued their attempts to break down the security fence and on Tuesday evening they succeeded, with approximately 20 Palestinians crossing the fence and entering into Israel before eventually retreating. Throughout this ordeal, rockets have been fired at Southern Israel. This is a multisite/multilevel attack and no one is being spared.

Some are dubbing this new wave of terror the “Youth Intifada” as many of these assailants are youth under the age of 21, in some cases as young as 13.

They use easily accessible weapons such as kitchen knives, cleavers, guns, and cars to injure both civilians and soldiers in any way then can. Israelis are desperately seeking creative ways to defend themselves: in the past week, civilians have successfully helped to subdue terrorists using nunchucks, umbrellas and selfie sticks. At least one Jerusalem woman was photographed carrying a spray bottle containing oven cleaner. Another rode the bus with a rolling pin, while a man was seen with a frying pan tucked into his belt. There is a nationwide shortage of pepper spray and an increase in requests for gun licenses. The conflict has led to palpable tension rising within Israeli society, prompting enhanced security measures. Police officers and soldiers have multiplied their presence in Jerusalem, specifically in crowded areas and on public transportation. Everyone is hyper vigilant and worried about their safety.

Although we are hoping for a quick restoration of calm, many in Israel are expecting the terror to continue spiraling out of control. In anticipation of continued violence, Magen David Adom called on the Israeli public to donate blood, the IDF is preparing for further escalation, and civilians all around Israel are plagued with anxiety about when and where the next attack will strike.

There are no Red Alerts or sirens before a stabbing.

There is no missile defense system.

There is no safe room to run to.

Stabbings can occur anytime, anywhere, to anyone.


ITC's Response

The foresight shown in the establishment of the ITC and the years of support from our generous donors are a daily blessing. Together, ITC partners are committed to harnessing our united strengths to combat this crisis.  Our partners, including Amcha, CSPC, Eran, Hadassah, Mahut, Natal and Selah are working in cities and neighborhoods nationwide.

Last summer, at the height of the war, we were working in a clear geographical area. Now, however, we are needed nationwide, all of the time, facing new and more violent scenarios on a daily basis with great concern for the coming weeks.  In deploying our efforts in the South, we have the benefit of established partnerships. Today, however, we are working with new partners and different ever-changing and ever-growing needs.

Following events and identifying needs, we are providing care, support and training for individuals and teams all over the country.  
The National Insurance Institute has unfortunately decided to fund direct care only to those who were evacuated from the scene to the hospital. There are so many people who do not meet this criteria! Just one example amongst many who are receiving our help is a 10-year-old girl who was an eyewitness to the murder of Aharon Bennett. She is very scared, talking constantly about the attack. Understandably, she clings to her mother and has difficulty sleeping and eating, yet she does not qualify for government sponsored support. 

Currently we are training Jerusalem emergency teams as well as those of nearby regional councils. We are also working with the community leadership in how to respond to emergencies, and training educational teams in Jerusalem.

All work is coordinated closely with the municipality. Many parents are suffering from extreme anxiety and we know from experience that their reaction is to close ranks, to refuse to let their children leave the house, and as a result, the children experience their own raised level of anxiety. Helping parents helps children and as such, we are providing parental guidance groups nationwide.

The ITC has been called upon to counsel the Ministry of Public Security and the police on population behavior during emergency, and to work with Arab & Jewish councils. There is a pressing need to work with local teams on psycho-social coexistence to approach the acute challenges raised by the situation. Currently, Bezek (the Israeli national telephone company) has been instructing its Jewish employees not to enter Arab areas - these are the types of tensions/issues that need to be addressed immediately. This intervention is being implemented in Jerusalem, Ramla, Lud, Rahat, Lehavim and Meitar.

Residents of Jerusalem’s Old City area, including the Jewish and Muslim quarter, Mount of Olives neighborhood and the City of David are collectively under the management and support of the Jewish Quarter Community Leadership. We are offering parents of all four communities a trauma guidance meeting next week. According to the needs identified at the meeting, we will arrange a variety of subsequent workshops to address specific issues including anxiety, behaviors to watch for, and how to discuss the tense and frightening situation with both teenagers and young children. Yesterday evening in Jerusalem’s French Hill neighborhood, we provided a trauma processing workshop to both parents and elderly citizens. Tools and skills regarding anxiety management were covered so that the participants can begin the active process of resilience.


Terror attacks in the past week

The following is a list of major terror attacks since our last update.
We are all praying for a quiet weekend.
We will keep you updated on the current events as they unfold and our continued response.


October 12th, Jerusalem 
Terrorist tried to snatch a soldier's weapon on a bus in Jerusalem but failed. 3 stabbing incidents

October 12th, Jerusalem, Pisgat Ze'ev
13 yr old boy and 21 yr old man stabbed

October 13th, Jerusalem
Shootings and stabbings on a bus in East Talpiot, resulting in 2 deaths, 9 wounded, and several in shock

October 13th, Jerusalem
1 killed, 3 wounded, and 5 in shock after a car rammed into pedestrians at a bus

stop in Geula
After hitting 3 pedestrians, the driver left his vehicle and began stabbing victims

October 13th, Jerusalem
2 border policeman stabbed


October 13th, Ra'anana
4 wounded in stabbing attack at a bus stop on Jerusalem Street

October 13th, Ra'anana
1 wounded in a stabbing attack at a bus stop on Ahuza Street


October 14th, Jerusalem
A terrorist stabbed a 65-year-old woman, inflicting light-to-moderate wounds, near the central bus station 

October 14th, Givatayim
2 Palestinians from East Jerusalem were arrested following a massive manhunt for suspected terrorists in Tel Aviv


October 14th, Haifa
Israeli soldier shot his weapon in the air aboard a passenger train near the port after troops thought they spotted a man with a knife in the carriage
5 people were treated for light injuries as the train was evacuated amid a minor panic, but the incident was ruled to be a false alarm, police said

October 14th, Beersheva
15 yr old girl was arrested after posting a Facebook message about planned attacks


October 14th, near Hebron
Arab teen caught with knife outside the settlement of Adora

Our Mission

The mission of the Israel Trauma Coalition (ITC) is to create a continuum of care in the trauma field, response and preparedness, by leveraging diverse resources to initiate, prioritize, and optimize services.

In the past 13 years  the ITC has proven its effectiveness in partnering with over 60 organizations including government ministries and Home Front Command to ensure a comprehensive view of the trauma field, timely delivery of needed services, resilience building at a personal, community and national level and influencing policy.