Jerusalem – Thursday night is the traditional evening for intense Bible and Talmud study in a Yeshiva Talmudical learning academy seminary.
This Thursday night was no exception in one of Jerusalem’s leading seminaries.
The Rabbi Kook Seminary houses more than 800 students of all ages in an academy that was founded 80 years ago by the first chief rabbi of the modern Jewish community in the land of Israel, Rabbi Isaac HaKohen Kook.
On_Thursday night, an Arab living in a Muslim neighborhood in Jerusalem entered the seminary, made his way up the steps to the second floor, and entered the study hall where small groups of students were studying with their respective rabbis.
In a terror attack which took place in a matter of 12 minutes, the toll was eight seminary students dead and 12 students badly wounded.
A student described how the Arab calmly pulled our his Kalatchnikov automatic weapon and began to fire his gun at random at the students.
Some of the students jumped from the second floor window, to get out of the range of fire.
The Arab then proceeded to go up two more flights of stairs, firing live ammunition at point- blank range, until he reached the roof, where he took up position to continue his shooting spree.
A student with a pistol shot the man as he ascended the roof. A neighbor of the yeshiva, an officer in an Israeli Army combat unit, pursued the Arab onto the roof with an M16 and finally killed the Arab.
As this story was being filed, not all of the parents who had lost sons on Thursday night had been located to inform them of their loss.
Yitzhak Dadon, the yeshiva student who shot the Jerusalem terrorist, says he was busy studying when suddenly shots rang out, prompting him to grab his gun and eventually kill the Palestinian attacker
“We realized something happened so I cocked my handgun,” Yitzhak Dadon told the Voice of Israel Radio.
“I went up on the roof and waited for the terrorist. Meanwhile, I saw blood and shattered glass,” Mr. Dadon said.
“The terrorist continue firing in the air, so I waited to see him again, and then I shot him twice in the head.”
Mr. Dadon says the terrorist continued firing even after he was hurt.
“He kept on firing until an IDF officer arrived and shot him again,” Mr. Dadon said.
As he continued his interview with the Israeli radio, Mr. Dadon emphasized that the Arab whom he had helped to kill was carrying a weapon that “President Peres had authorized,” reminding the Israeli public that Mr. Peres, as foreign minister and prime minister, had authorized automatic weapons for Fatah members who were loyal to PLO leaders Yassir Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas.
Only two weeks ago, PLO security forces had once again been deployed in Jerusalem at the PLO headquarters in a building known as the Orient House, which was closed in August for security reasons in 2001 at the height of terror attacks in Jerusalem.
Meanwhile the Arab terror attack in Jerusalem followed a day in which Arabs from Gaza had fired at least a dozen missiles on the southern Israeli towns of Sderot and Ashkelon.
Two homes in Sderot suffered direct hits. In one home, the Gaza missile destroyed the family living room, while the parents and four children were in the kitchen In the other home that was hit, the upstairs bedrooms suffered direct hits and were gutted by fire. The family was downstairs at the time. Both parents were hit by shrapnel and all of their three children suffered from smoke inhalation.
In terms of retaliation, U.S. Secretary of State Rice, still in the region, implored Israel not to strike back into Gaza, for fear of civilian loss of life in Gaza, since the Arab rocket launchers remain embedded in the civilian population of Gaza. Ms. Rice also implored Israel to continue with unconditional negotiations with Mr. Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen. However, the PBC, the Palestinian TV network run directly under Mr. Abbas’ control and supervision, has been running clips from the Gaza morgues this week, with Mr. Arafat’s voice used to call upon the Arab people to liberate the land of Israel from the Jews.
Indeed, The Bulletin asked the U.S. ambassador in Tel Aviv for comment on the incitement which is rampant on the PBC. The U.S. ambassador’s spokesman asked for more information about Arab incitement on official PBC TV.
Indeed, The Bulletin provided the ambassador with a full report on the latest official incitement that emanates from the PBC Palestine Liberation Organization.
David Bedein can be reached at Media@actcom.co.il
©The Bulletin 2008