The situation in Israel remains tense as we approach the end of one month of terror attacks.
Magen David Adom reports that between October 1st-25th, 10 people have been killed and 127 wounded. Fourteen remain in serious condition.
To date, there have been 45 stabbings, four shootings and five incidents of terrorists running civilians over with cars. In the past week, terrorist attacks which had primarily concentrated in greater Jerusalem spread to other locations in Israel, expanding more into the West Bank where many Jews live.
Frequent attacks have caused authorities to enact heightened security measures, resulting in planting soldiers and police officers on buses, street corners, bus stations and other public and highly frequented locations. Working tirelessly to protect citizens, they too are highly exposed. Although Israelis continue their day-to-day routines, many feel apprehensive since they never know where or when the next attack will strike.
In addition to frequent stabbing attacks, clashes between Palestinians and police officers continue. Several conflicts occurred in Gaza and in the West Bank on Friday following the Muslim prayer. In Nablus, radical Palestinians set Joseph’s tomb on fire. It seems that tensions only continue to rise despite political efforts to calm the situation.
Many of you may have heard about the Be’er Sheva terror attack on Sunday, in which a 21-year-old terrorist from Hura (Bedouin village in the South) opened fire and began stabbing passersby in Be’er Sheva’s central bus station. The terrorist killed 19-year-old IDF Sergeant Omri Levy and wounded 10 others. The severity of the attack resulted in the requirement of 24 witnesses receiving hospital treatment for shock and anxiety. What has shaken up many Israelis in response to this attack is that police have reported connections between the Be’er Sheva terrorist and Hamas, indicating that this was not a “lone wolf” attack.
To date (and counting) we are looking at close to 3,000 people who are in need of trauma care. Many will heal naturally but ITC is already treating 160 people.
Resources are strained and only a small percentage of government funding has been allocated to direct care. The ITC is placing considerable emphasis on providing parent groups as parents are the primary role models for their children. Most of the parent groups are taking place in Jerusalem, however as the situation is fluid and volatile, workshops have also been provided in Kfar Saba, Bat Yam, Kiryat Gat, Haifa, Ramat Aviv and Lod.
In the next few days, additional Jerusalem-based parent workshops will be given in Arabic as many Arab parents are anxious about the situation. They have expressed concerns about the possible radicalization of their children given the recent exposure to political extremist views, especially via social media. In this light, the ITC together with the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem are developing multi-faith workshops to help cope with the situation.
Following the Be’er Sheva bus station attack, the Bedouin community has been left reeling trying to deal with the fact that the terrorist came from amongst their own. Likewise many mixed communities such as Jaffa, Ramla and Haifa are struggling to maintain the delicate balance of peaceful coexistence. The ITC is working with the local leadership on providing tolerance and psycho-social workshops.
The elderly population is also of a particular concern. We have been receiving calls from various caregivers throughout the country that many elderly residents are too afraid to leave their houses for fear of being attacked while unable to defend themselves. Knife attacks are considered a very brutal and personal attack and the elderly feel particularly vulnerable at this time.
Recent Terror Activity
The following is a list of recent terror activity since our last update. It includes attacks as well as thwarted attacks that were prevented by stringent security.
We will keep you updated on the current events as they unfold and our continued response.
Jerusalem: Suspected terrorist near Damascus Gate found with a knife
Jerusalem: Stabbing attack near Jerusalem’s central bus station leaves 65-year-old woman with light-to-moderate wounds, 31 witnesses treated for anxiety and shock
Hebron: An attacker disguised as a journalist stabbed a soldier in Kiryat Arba
Jerusalem: Police canine identifies a pipe bomb during a search in Issawiya
Jerusalem: A 13-year-old is arrested in the Old City after he is found he is carrying a knife
Hebron: 1 soldier stabbed
Hebron: 16-year-old knife-wielding female terrorist attacks a border policewoman
Hebron: Terrorist attempts to stab an Israeli in Kiryat Arba
Qalandia: Terrorist attempts to stab a police officer at a checkpoint
Jerusalem: 16-year-old terrorist attempts to stab police officers in East Talpiot
Be’er Sheva: Shooting and stabbing attack at central bus terminal, 1 soldier killed, 10 wounded, 24 in shock
Hebron: 2 terrorists (aged 15 and 17) stab a soldier
Hebron: 1 man killed after his car was pelted with stones, forcing him to pull over and exit his vehicle, upon which he was hit by a truck
Gush Etzion: Attempted car ramming and stabbing at a bus stop, 2 injured
Hebron: Palestinian attempts to stab IDF officer
Binyamin: Female soldier stabbed in the neck, critically wounded
Hebron: Vehicular attack on 4 IDF in Beit Umar, 1 soldier in moderate-to-serious condition, the rest lightly wounded
Nablus: 15-year-old Palestinian female armed with a knife attempts to enter Yitzhar settlement
Sha’ar HaNegev: Rocket fired from Gaza Strip lands in an open area
Beit Shemesh: 18-year-old Yeshiva student moderately wounded after 2 terrorists stab him at a bus stop; afterwards the terrorists attempted to board a children's bus but were stopped by civilians and police
Hebron: Palestinian attempts to stab a soldier near a checkpoint in Tel Rumeida
Gush Etzion: Stabbing attack, 1 soldier lightly wounded
Beit El: A family of 5 was injured after a firebomb is thrown at their car, 4-year-old girl in moderate condition and the rest lightly wounded
Kiryat Gat: Car bomb explosion leaves 1 seriously injury and 1 lightly injured
Jenin: 16-year-old Palestinian disguised as a candy salesman attempts to stab security guards at a checkpoint
Kedumim: Palestinian women arrested after a knife is found in her bag
Jerusalem: Reports of an attempted stabbing on a Jewish man
Gush Etzion: Israeli man hit in the head with a stone that is thrown at his car. After pulling over and exiting his vehicle, a Palestinian man stabbed him in the chest, leaving him with moderate wounds and a head injury.
Hebron: Female terrorist attempts to stab a policeman at the Tzalbanit checkpoint
Tiberias: After receiving tips that a suspected terrorist boarded bus 28 near Kibbutz Gesher, police officers track down the bus and arrest the suspect who was found to have a knife in his posession
Afula: Stabbing attack, 2 wounded
Ariel: Stabbing attack, 1 wounded
Kiryat Arba: Stabbing attack leaves 19-year-old Israeli in serious condition