August 10, 2020

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11-Oct-16: Who will live and who will die: A Hamas plot is thwarted in Jerusalem

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In court today: Thwarted before becoming another Islamist
human bomb [Image Source: Ynet]

As Jews throughout the world prepare for Yom Kippur which commences at sundown today, many will be thinking of the momentous words we are going to recite in the Une’taneh Tokef prayer (in Hebrew: ונתנה   תוקף). A key moment in both the liturgy for Rosh Hashanah as well as for Yom Kippur for many centuries, it is sung and chanted while the ark of the Torah remains open and the members of the congregation are standing:

“You alone are the One Who judges, proves, knows, and bears witness; Who writes and seals, Who counts and Who calculates. You will remember all that was forgotten… All of mankind will pass before You like a flock of sheep. Like a shepherd pasturing his flock, making sheep pass under his staff, so shall You cause to pass, count, calculate, and consider the soul of all the living; and You shall apportion the destinies of all Your creatures and inscribe their verdict. On Rosh Hashanah will be inscribed and on Yom Kippur will be sealed – how many will pass from the earth and how many will be created; who will live and who will die; who will die at his predestined time and who before his time; who by water and who by fire, who by sword and who by beast, who by famine and who by thirst, who by upheaval and who by plague, who by strangling and who by stoning. Who will rest and who will wander, who will live in harmony and who will be harried, who will enjoy tranquility and who will suffer, who will be impoverished and who will be enriched, who will be degraded and who will be exalted. But Repentance, Prayer, and Charity annul the severe Decree…”

Our personal experience as parents of a child shockingly murdered at the age of fifteen sensitize us to how everything you assume about life can be violently upended irrevocably in moments. Our daughter Malki and her friend Michal stopped off in a central Jerusalem pizzeria for a quick lunch on a school-vacation afternoon just as a human bomb, despatched by the Islamist savages of Hamas, walked in and made his way to where they were giving their order at the counter.

In triggering the explosives hidden in a guitar case on his back, that young man permanently changed the world for us and for many dozens of others: the victims, their families and friends, the many maimed by the explosives and hurt by the shrapnel and by the vicious little black nails that were stuffed into the bomb. And by the injustices that followed.

Prayers on Yom Kippur | Wikimedia Commons

We’re reminded today of the terribly fine line between the unthinkable happening, and awful outcomes averted by an intervention.

It was reported in the past hour (it’s now Tuesday, 12 noon) that an Arab from East Jerusalem has just been indicted in an Israeli court on charges of planning to carry out an attack by a human-bomb (the man himself) on a Jerusalem bus. Here’s the Times of Israel‘s account:

On September 9, the Shin Bet security service arrested alleged Hamas operative Fuaz Ibrahim Julani [the Jerusalem Post gives his name as Muhammad Fuaz Ibrahim Julani] a resident of the Shuafat refugee camp, a few days before he planned to carry out… a terror attack on behalf of Hamas, the Shin Bet said. [H]e told an accomplice he planned to carry out the suicide bombing as “this is the way of God,” according to the indictment. The Hamas terror group’s operatives in the Gaza Strip had been in contact with Julani through the internet in order to plan the bombing and had also encouraged him to recruit other people to carry out attacks, according to the indictment filed against him Tuesday in the Jerusalem District Court.., Though Julani ultimately decided to carry out a suicide bus bombing in the Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood of Jerusalem, according to the Shin Bet, he said in his interrogation he had also considered a shooting attack with an AK-47 assault rifle near the Hizme checkpoint; bombing a store where he had worked in 2011; throwing an improvised explosive device at the checkpoint in Shuafat; and pipe bomb attacks in high-traffic locations of Jerusalem, like the bus station and the Malha shopping mall… [He] decided to carry out a suicide bombing after the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, which was celebrated from September 12 to 16. By carrying out his attack after the holiday, Julani hoped to prevent Israel from restricting Muslims’ access to the Temple Mount during the holiday, according to the Shin Bet… When Julani was arrested on September 9, he had already purchased the materials necessary to create his bomb, including nails that he planned to pack into the device to maximize the damage… Two members of Julani’s family, Mehmed and Iyad Julani, were also arrested for allegedly helping him hide his illegal weapons.

Over at Ynet, they make an especially chilling observation:

The Shin Bet and Israel Police said that the arrest illustrate the relentless efforts of Hamas officials in the Gaza Strip to carry out serious terrorist attacks inside Israel and the West Bank. Furthermore, both agencies emphasized the use of Arab-Israeli residents by Hamas to gain access to Israeli territory.

That last point is very poorly understood. It’s difficult to take seriously any analysis of how peace can be found and how Islamist terror can be deflected without confronting the realities. Our contribution is to point readers to several fact-filled posts that convey information we have found startling: 

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