Thursday, March 6, 2008


Mercaz Harav hit by capital's worst terror attack since April '06 (JPost)
A Palestinian terrorist opened fire at a central Jerusalem yeshiva late Thursday night, killing eight students and wounding 11 others, police and rescue officials said.

The 8:45 p.m. shooting at Mercaz Harav Yeshiva in the Kiryat Moshe neighborhood broke a two-year lull in terror in the capital and sent students scurrying for cover from a hail of gunfire - a reported 500-600 bullets - that lasted for several minutes.

"There were horrendous screams of 'Help us! Help us!'" recounted Avrahami Sheinberger of the ZAKA emergency rescue service, one of the first to respond to the scene. "There were bodies strewn all over the floor, at the entrance to the yeshiva, in various rooms and in the library."

As security forces raced to the scene, the gunman fired round after round of ammunition into the library at the seminary, religious Zionism's flagship institution. About 80 students had gathered in the library to celebrate the Hebrew month of Adar II, which begins on Friday evening.

It was not immediately clear, late Thursday night, whether there was a security guard at the entrance to the yeshiva.

Channel 2 reported that the terrorist carried a blue Israeli identity card and came from east Jerusalem.

Initial reports of a second terrorist on the loose proved unfounded, police said.

"We heard shooting and knew that something had happened," recounted Yitzhak Dadon, 40, who studies at the yeshiva. Dadon said he cocked his handgun and went up to the roof of the yeshiva, where he saw the terrorist spraying gunfire indiscriminately at the crowd inside. Dadon said he fired two bullets at the terrorist, who began to stumble.

At the same time, police arrived at the scene and an intense gunfight erupted with the terrorist lasting several minutes, witnesses said. The scent of gunpowder wafted in the air as undercover police stormed the building.

Jerusalem police chief Cmdr. Aharon Franco said the terrorist was killed by an IDF officer who lives near the yeshiva and raced to the scene.

Rescue workers recounted a grisly picture of students hiding under desks and locking themselves in classrooms to avoid being caught in the hail of bullets.

Yerach Toker, a paramedic for United Hatzola of Israel, said he saw several dead yeshiva students on the library's floor. "Some of them were still holding sacred Jewish books smeared with blood from which they were learning before they were murdered," he said.

Hamas hails 'heroic' Jerusalem attack (AFP)
The Palestinian Hamas movement hailed a deadly attack on a Jewish religious school in Jerusalem on Thursday night as "heroic," without claiming responsibility for the strike that killed eight.

"This heroic attack in Jerusalem is a normal response to the crimes of the occupier and its murder of civilians," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said.

Another spokesman, Taher al-Nunu, blamed the attack on Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defence Minister Ehud Barak and the Israeli government.

"We have warned before about the responsibility of the escalation in Gaza and warned of Palestinian anger," Nunu said.

Hundreds of Palestinians poured into the streets of Gaza City as news of the attack at a west Jerusalem yeshiva spread, firing automatic rifles into the air in celebration.

Several more hundred people likewise celebrated in the northern town of Jabaliya, which has borne the brunt of deadly Israeli military strikes over the past eight days that have killed more than 130 Palestinians in Gaza amid a sharp escalation of violence in and around the impoverished territory.

SEE ALSO: Palestinians Celebrating Mass Murder (LGF)

UNSC fails to condemn J'lem shooting (JPost)
The UN Security Council failed to reach an agreement overnight Thursday on issuing an official condemnation over the deadly shooting attack in Jerusalem's Mercaz Harav Yeshiva because of Libyan opposition.

"Most members (of the council) wanted to condemn (the attack) but Libya blocked it," Israel's ambassador to the UN, Dan Gillerman, told reporters.

US Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said US efforts to issue a statement condemning the attack "in the strongest terms" failed because Libya sought to link it to its own resolution urging condemnation of Israel over the IDF operation in the Gaza Strip last week.

No comments: