Eitam and Naama Henkin were driving on a main road near their home at Neria with their four children in the car on Thurs night when they were shot at close range and murdered by Palestinian terrorists. This was one of three shooting incidents that took place on Israel’s roads within 24 hr. In the other cases a woman was slightly injured when she slowed to avoid Palestinian teenagers spilling out onto the road, her child was not hurt. And in the third case a car was shot at and the bullet pierced the roof but no one was hurt.
In case there is any doubt about the intentions, the Palestinian territories on the West Bank erupted in celebration over the murders, candies were being handed out and there were fireworks. The attack was claimed by the armed wing of the Fatah organization of which PA President Abbas is the head. There was no condemnation of the terrorist attack from the PA or from Abbas. This is another case where terrorism is supported and condoned by the PA. Note that they are attacking us, not the other way around.
Thousands of Israelis attended the funeral of the Henkins the next day and the IDF sent soldiers in to surround and search suspected Arab villages in pursuit of the terrorists. In some cases there were clashes with the local population and the IDF and police pacified them. Some Palestinians were arrested, including 20 suspected Hamas members. One reason for the current wave of violence is that Pres. Abbas wants to solidify his support in the West Bank by showing he is not making any accommodation with Israel and to upstage Hamas.
On Saturday, a Palestinian man with a knife went berserk near the Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem, stabbing to death two men and badly injuring the wife and two year old child of one of them. He then took a gun from one of the injured and fired into a crowd of tourists, injuring several of them. He was shot dead by a border police patrol nearby. Islamic Jihad, the Iranian controlled terrorist organization claimed credit and there was rejoicing in Gaza over the incident. In this way the terrorist organizations compete with each other to kill Israelis. The ostensible excuse is that Israel is changing the status quo regarding the Temple Mount (Haram al-Sharif), even though PM Netanyahu has publicly denied this. But, I don’t see how murdering innocent Israeli civilians has anything to do with the status of the Temple Mount.
These killings were somewhat overshadowed by the school shooting in Oregon that took 9 lives, as well as further aerial attacks by Russia in Syria and by the US in Afghanistan that took dozens of civilian lives. But, the Israel government regards terrorist shootings of Israeli civilians as very serious and takes a hard-line in dealing with them. The IDF closed off the Old City of Jerusalem to all Palestinians for 2 days. We hope the perpetrators of the Henkins’ murders will be found and punished accordingly. But, more important, they should hesitate before carrying out such attacks due to the severe consequences for their family and their accomplices.