Today an Arab resident of Jerusalem broke into the Merkaz HaRav yeshiva in the neighborhood of Kiryat Moshe and murdered eight students and injured at least ten others.
Armed with a Kalachnikov rifle, the terrorist fired over 500 bullets turning the house of study into a bloodbath. He was only stopped when one student armed with a handgun managed to shoot him down. You can read horrifying descriptions of the incident here, here, and here.
Meanwhile, residents of Gaza celebrated by handing out candy, praying for thanks in local mosques, firing their guns in the air, and praising the murder’s “heroic act.” A spokesman for Islamic Jihad was quoted saying, “Those who carried out the attack have brought great pride and raised the heads of the Palestinians” while Hamas “blesse[d] the (Jerusalem) operation,” saying “It will not be the last.”
In other ominous undertones, the group claiming responsibility for the attack is calling itself the Galilee Freedom Battalions – the Martyrs of Imad Mughniyeh. This name refers both to the recently assassinated number two of Hezbollah and the northern region of Israel with a sizeable Arab demographic. Coupled with the fact that the murderer was an Israeli Arab, this is both a reminder for the government of the largely underappreciated security concerns posed by some members of this community and yet another obstacle weakening prospects for their integration into Israeli society. I have no doubt that the terrorist had both these objectives in mind.
Please join me and many others across the world tomorrow, Friday, March 7th, in wearing blue to show solidarity with the victims of this awful event.