Breaking news in Israel– Two boys were attacked with an ax yesterday (April 2) in the West Bank community of Bat Ayin. Thirteen year old Shlomo Nativ (may his memory be a blessing) died from his injuries, while 7 year old Yair Gamliel was rushed to the hospital with a fractured skull. The incident, deemed to be a terrorist attack, lead the Israel Defense Forces to the nearby town of Khirbet Safa, where the attacker is believed to be hiding. In the Jewish tradition of burying the dead, Nativ's funeral was held in the same evening.
According to eyewitness reports, the terrorist fled the scene after running wild and attacking passersby. Residents alerted the security forces to the scene. The mayor of Gush Etzion Regional Council said that Bat Ayin's local security watch squad shot at the terrorist who carried out the attack, but that the terrorist managed to get away.
“The terrorist came in with an axe and injured two boys from Bat Ayin,” said Mayor Shaul Goldstein… “It is clear that the terrorist came in with the intention of murdering and terrorizing. The only way he could have come in was through infiltration.
The Jewish Chronicle elaborates with further details from an eye witness account:
A local resident, named only as Avinoam, described how he seized the axe from the attacker’s hands but could not stop him escaping. He said the man chanted “I will kill, I will kill” while they grappled. “He had a longing for murder in his eyes, the struggle lasted several minutes,” he added.
The Jewish Chronicle explains that Shlomo Nativ's parents were among the founders of Bat Ayin, while Yair Gamliel's father is currently serving time in prison for planning a terror attack against a girls school in East Jerusalem in 2002. The Palestinian Telegraph notes that the name of the group that planned the attack was the Bat Ayin Militia. Insufficient information exists about the circumstances of the attack to posit whether Nativ and Gamliel were specifically targeted.
The Palestinian Telegraph also comments:
The Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, praised the attack. In a statement the group said it “congratulates this heroic attack that comes as a normal response to the Israeli assaults against Palestinians, to Netanyahu, and to threats to the Al-Aqsa Mosque.”
On Twitter and their blogs, Israelis were quick to respond.
Jameel of the Muquata is keeping a running timeline of the events as they unfold, from the time the attack was reported at 12:15 pm until 4:30 pm, shortly before the funeral. He includes the news that a Hezbollah rocket fell in northern Israel today, which is notable, but seemingly unrelated.
Israellycool's daily timeline notes:
4:02 pm: Today's terror victim Shlomo Nativ. May G-d avenge his blood.
4:57PM: Here is how the palestinian Ma’an News has reported today’s terror attack resulting in the murder of a 16-year-old boy and serious injuring of a 7-year-old: Israeli settler killed in apparent West Bank ax attack; Israeli forces overrun nearby villages
6:10PM: Here’s how CNN has reported today’s axe-attack murder of 13-year-old Shlomo Nativ and injuring of 13-year-old Yair Gamliel. [Large blank space] Yep. Nada. Zilch.
On Treppenwitz, guest author Zahava references the Passover seder in which Jews dip bitter herbs in salt water to remember the tears from “when we were slaves in Egypt.” She writes:
….there is at least one family who will not need the Seder salt water for dipping their bitter herb to symbolize the tears of our ancestors… I can taste my own bitter tears as I type. I can barely see the screen as my heart and soul cry out in pain and in anger. ברוך דיין אמת [Baruch dayan emet: Blessed is the one, true judge].
A family in a neighboring yishuv [community] will have the unbearable task of burying their 13-year old son sometime today… May Hashem [G-D] comfort this family. May He grant a full recovery to the 7-year old.
Ruti Mizrachi of Ki Yachol Nuchal! posts Shlomo Nativ's photo, as almost every blogger has done, and echoes:
Shlomo Nativ, Hy”d [Hashem Yikom Damo: G-D will avenge his blood]. Age 14. Dani is 14. Noam is 14. There are no words. If there were, “peace” would not be one of them.
In a post entitled, “Why I Love Being a Mother,” A Mother in Israel's Hannah Katsman's number one point is that motherhood creates instant bonds, but adds:
I can't let this post go by without mentioning the gruesome murder of an innocent child. Fear of terror attacks and the need for our sons to serve in the army give Israeli mothers an added dimension to bonding that I wish didn't exist.
A Soldier's Mom reflects that as her son is an officer who has a soldier in his unit from Bat Ayin, where the attack took place, it is practically a given that his soldier and the boys’ families will know each other. In her comments section, three bloggers respond.
Ye'he Sh'mey Raba Mevorach, a mother of five, writes:
I was also kind of wondering what kind of person attacks two children with an axe. On the other hand, since they draft children of these ages into their fight, perhaps they don't see our children as … children.
Oh wow. How terribly sad. Murdering innocent children in this way (in any way)is not holy — its 100% evil. When things like that happen here in the US, it isn't terrorism, its just a crazy person who had become so filled up with evil and a horrible act was how it was ‘let out’.
And ProphetJoe concludes:
Here in America, we rarely call anything “terrorism”, but then again we don't have Canadian or Mexican extremists teaching their kids to wear suicide belts and kill Americans! Thoughts and prayers to those suffering…
A Palestinian terror group known as the Martyrs of Imad Mughniyeh have claimed credit for the incident. Mughniyeh, a senior member of Hezbollah, was killed by a car bomb in February. He is thought to be responsible for the murder or kidnappings of over 400 people.
More information will unfold in the course of the search for the missing murderer.