(JTA) — One woman was killed and 17 injured in a terror attack in the Tel Aviv suburb of Raanana on Monday, a rare fatal incident in central Israel amid the country’s war in Gaza.
Two Palestinian men carried out the attack on Monday afternoon, stabbing people and ramming others with cars in Raanana, a suburb of about 75,000 north of Tel Aviv with a large population of English-speaking immigrants. The woman who was killed was identified as Edna Bluestein, 79, and two additional victims were seriously injured, including a 16-year-old boy. The attack took place at the end of the school day, and several children were hospitalized.
Police apprehended the attackers, who came from the Hebron area in the West Bank and were reportedly working in Israel illegally. The men said they had been inspired by Israel’s war in Gaza to plan and carry out an attack, according to an account shared by Israel’s Shin Bet intelligence service with Israeli media.
The attack comes as Israel’s war in Gaza against Hamas, the terror group that controls the coastal enclave and that launched the war by invading Israel on Oct. 7 and killing roughly 1,200 people, crosses 100 days. Nearly 200 Israeli soldiers have been killed in the ensuing ground invasion, while some 24,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, according to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry.
In addition, Israel is fighting an escalating conflict with the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah on its northern border in which 15 Israelis and some 200 Lebanese people have died. And it is conducting military raids against suspected Palestinian terror cells in the West Bank, where some 300 Palestinians have been killed since Oct. 7.
By comparison, relatively few Israelis have been killed in central Israel, and Monday’s attack fueled a debate over whether Israel should continue to issue work permits to West Bank Palestinians. Before Oct. 7, 300,000 Palestinians from the West Bank crossed into Israel legally to work, but their permits were suspended following Hamas’ attack, plunging the territory into economic crisis. Last month, Israel’s security cabinet opted not to vote on whether to reinstate the permits.
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‘The mobs will not silence my voice’ says Conservative MP Melissa Lantsman after her Thornhill office is plastered with anti-Israel posters
Posters slamming Israel and decrying Canada’s suspension of funding to UNRWA were found at the Thornhill, Ont., offices of Melissa Lantsman, a pro-Israel and Jewish Conservative MP who serves as deputy leader of the Official Opposition. “Blood on Your Hands,” “Stop Arming Israel” and “Fund UNRWA Now” were among the messages found taped to […]
IDF Chief Weighs in on Ultra-Orthodox Military Service, Week After New Draft Bill Proposed
IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi called on the ultra-Orthodox public to mobilize for the current and future wars, a position at odds with their historic role in the state, in which they enjoy near blanket exemptions from military service.
“In these challenging days, there is one thing that is very clear: Everyone should mobilize for the defense of the homeland,” Halevi said.
He added: “This is a different era, and what was before it will certainly be re-examined. The IDF has always sought to bring into its ranks from all sections of Israeli society. This war illustrates the need to change. Join the service, protect the homeland. We have a historic opportunity to expand the sources of recruitment for the IDF at a time when the necessity is very high. We will know how to create the right solutions and conditions for any population that will join this noble mission.”
The issue of ultra-Orthodox enlistment in the IDF has been a hot button issue since the state’s establishment in 1948 and, in more recent years, the cause of wide scale backlash against the community. As part of an agreement when the state was founded, the ultra-Orthodox public was exempted completely from service. However, as the years progressed and the population grew exponentially, critics of the policy decried the unfairness of it.
A bill last week was introduced by the ruling Likud Party that called for an increase in military service time, particularly for reserve forces, yet failed to discuss the ultra-Orthodox issue. Backlash from both opposition and coalition members was swift.
Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich at the time said, “The ultra-Orthodox public is dear and loved and contributes a lot to the State of Israel, and it is now essential that it also take a more significant part in the tasks of defense and security. This move should happen out of dialogue and discussion and not by coercion or, God forbid, by defamation. Religious Zionism proves that it is possible to combine Torah study and observance of minor and severe mitzvot together with military service at the front. My ultra-Orthodox brothers, we need you!”
Halevi’s comments were his first on the highly contentious issue.
The post IDF Chief Weighs in on Ultra-Orthodox Military Service, Week After New Draft Bill Proposed first appeared on Algemeiner.com.
Israeli victims of the Oct. 7 attacks present their case to the International Criminal Court, hoping for arrest warrants against Hamas
A legal brief documenting the kidnapping, rape, torture and executions of Israelis who are being held hostage by Hamas terrorists in Gaza has been filed at the International Criminal Court by the Canadian-based Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights. The 1,000-page dossier documents the brutality of the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks on Israel, which killed […]