Edited by: Fern Sidman
At least four people were killed by a gunman in Bnei Brak Tuesday evening. The shooter, who was apparently an Arab terrorist, rode a motorcycle and shot the occupants of a private car with an M-16 rifle, according to a report on the Arutz Sheva web site.
Zeevi Fishman, a paramedic from United Hatzalah, said: “We provided assistance to the victim from a shooting then evacuated him to the hospital in critical condition. Unfortunately, four people were declared dead at the scene.”
United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Motti Noiman who was one of the first responders at the scene relayed: “ I treated a single individual who sustained gunshot wounds, he was in serious condition. The Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit of the organization was dispatched to deal with several people who suffered from shock as a result of witnessing the shooting.”
United Hatzalah volunteer EMT Avi Fishman who was also one of the first responders at the scene relayed, “Together with other EMS personnel, I treated one person who suffered from gunshot wounds and was taken to the hospital in critical condition. Unfortunately, four people were pronounced dead at the scene. Our Psychotrauma and Crisis Response Unit was active at the scene treating multiple people for emotional shock as a result of the shooting incidents.”
Akiva Kauffman who was another first responder at the scene relayed: “While I was riding my emergency e-bike I heard gunshots. I rushed over to the scene and began treating one person in critical condition who was then taken to the hospital.”
INN reported that Magen David Adom (MDA) medic Lipa Hirsch, who treated the wounded, said: “We heard the shots at the MDA station and immediately went in the direction of the shots. On Herzl Street we came across a man in his 30s lying unresponsive. He was not breathing, didn’t have a pulse and had suffered gunshot wounds. We performed medical checks and found we had no choice but to pronounce him deceased.
Approximately 100 meters from him, further down the street, we came across a 40 year old man, lying unresponsive with gunshots to his body, according to the INN report. An additional MDA team which arrived to the scene provided him with medical treatment and conveyed him to Beilinson Hospital in critical condition. With my team, I continued to the scene at Hashneim Street at the corner of Bialik Street where we found 3 victims, 1 in a car and 2 lying on the sidewalk, all unresponsive. We performed medical checks and had no choice but to pronounce them deceased.”
The shooter was reportedly neutralized by civilians who witnessed the attack. However, police have said that they are not certain the attacker was neutralized or acted alone and are continuing to search the area in case there are accomplices, as was reported by Arutz Sheva.
Police also received a report of a shooting incident near the Ayalon Mall. Police forces made their way to the scene but did not find any signs of a shooting.
Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett will hold a security consultation at 22:00 with the participation of the Minister of Defense, the Minister of Internal Security, the Chief of Staff, the Chief of the Shin Bet, the Commissioner of Police and other parties, according to the INN report.
In a statement released to the media, the Agudath Israel of America organization, which represents Torah Jewry all across the United States, said: “Our hearts cry at the terrible news of a terror attack in Hadera, Israel. In what has now become a familiar, if numbing pattern, terrorists opened fire on innocent civilians, killing two and injuring many more. We pray for the victims and their families, and for peace between Israel and its neighbors.”
The Igud HaRabbonim/Rabbinical Alliance of America said in a statement: “All of Klall Yisroel is in deep anguish over the brutal murders of our brethren in Bnei Braq. We are collectively davening to Hashem for the victims and their families.” Rabbi Mendy Mirocznik, the executive vice president of the Igud/RAA said, “The time has come for all of us to bow our necks to the yoke of Shamayim and to further commit ourselves to doing the ratzon (will) of Hashem. We desperately need Divine mercy and we ask everyone to increase their performance of mitzvos and maasim tovim in these days before Pesach.”
He added: “The time has come for Israel to root out ISIS terrorists from their midst. Only days ago and last week, Jews were killed in their G-d given homeland by those who seek our complete destruction and we must answer this egregious brand of rampant terrorism with bold measures.”
As reported by Ynet, the police and Shabak (Israel Security Agency) are planning a wave of arrests of ISIS supporters in Israel in the coming days, according to an INN report.
There is fear in the Israeli defense establishment of copycat attacks being carried out by Arab extremists, mimicking those of the Be’er Sheva terror attack last week, in which 4 civilians were murdered, and Sunday’s Hadera terror attack, in which two Border Police officers, Yezan Falah and Shirel Abukarat, were murdered. ISIS has claimed responsibility for Sunday’s terror attack.
Arutz Sheva reported that some of the arrests are expected to be administrative detentions, based upon the suspicion of intent to carry out an attack without providing evidence. Administrative detentions are not normally carried out against Israeli citizens, but the defense establishment is expected to submit such requests to the courts as a preventive measure, to prevent further attacks.
The defense establishment estimates that there are several dozen ISIS supporters among Israeli Arabs, some of whom have actively supported the Islamic State and even returned from Syria or Iraq after participating in those conflict zones, according to the Israel National News report.
The police are also expected to tighten the reporting requirements and monitoring of released prisoners, particularly those known to be ISIS supporters, as was reported by INN. The main difficulty remains in finding and monitoring lone-wolf terrorists, particularly those who remain unknown to the defense establishment. Such terrorists do not need firearms to inflict serious harm upon civilians: The Be’er Sheva terrorist used a knife to murder 4 Israelis.
Operations are already underway: Israel Police and Shabak on Sunday night carried out an operation searching a number of homes in the Arab town of Umm al-Fahm.
INN reported that the searches were led by Shabak and officers from the Umm al-Fahm police station, and carried out together with Yassam fighters, Border Police, and other special forces. During the searches, pistols and Airsoft guns were found and confiscated, along with cellular phones, documents, computers, rings, and books affiliated with the ISIS terror group.