10-year-old Asher Menachem Pally succumbed to injuries sustained last Friday when an Arab driver deliberately rammed his car into a crowed Jerusalem bus stop.
By Erin Viner
“The boy arrived in critical condition on life-support, announced the Sha’are Zedek Medical Center on Saturday, despite efforts by multiple teams in the emergency room, trauma unit, pediatric intensive care, pediatric surgery and neurosurgery. “He fought for his life for many hours, but sadly they had to pronounce him dead,” said the statement.
Pally’s 6-year-old bother Yaakov died at the crime scene shortly after the terror attack, while the boy’s father, who was critically injured, underwent surgery over the weekend.
The death toll of the vehicular homicide includes recently-married 20-year-old Alter Shlomo Laderman who also died upon impact. Several other civilians were seriously hurt.
The Arab terrorist, Hussein Karaka of the east Jerusalem village of Issawiya, was shot and killed by an off-duty Israeli police officer who witnessed the manslaughter.
“The heroic action in Jerusalem is a natural response to all the crimes of the occupation against the Palestinian people,” proclaimed Hazem Kassem, a Spokesman for the Islamist Hamas terror group that controls the Gaza Strip. Terrorists in the lawless enclave also fired a rocket at southern Israel on Saturday, which was successfully intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system.
In the immediate aftermath of the murder spree, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the reinforcement of all security units in the area. He also instructed the defense establishment to take immediate action to seal and demolish the terrorist’s home, and investigate whether other suspects were involved.
In further reaction following consultations by the Prime Minister, Defense Minister, Finance Minister, National Security Minister and Strategic Affairs Minister, the Security Cabinet reached unanimous agreement yesterday to grant retroactive authorization of nine Jewish communities in the West Bank districts of Judea and Samaria.
The Avigil, Beit Hogla, Givat Harel / HaRoeh, Givat Arnon, Mitzpe Yehuda, Malachei Hashalom, Ashael, Sde Boaz and Shaharit communities “have existed for many years; some have existed for decades,” said a government statement, adding that the Civil Administration Higher Planning Committee will be convened in the coming days to approve the construction of new residential units in the towns.
Additional decisions by the Security Cabinet to counter Palestinian terrorism include the bolstering of Police and Border Police units in Jerusalem and expanded Police operations against inciters and supporters of violence against Israelis.
Prime Minister Netanyahu underscored that the security forces will take pinpoint action against terrorists and that there will be no ‘collective punishment.’
The nine newly recognized communities are the first to be approved by the new Netanyahu coalition, which includes several senior ministers who have long sought the further expansion of Jewish settlement in the disputed territories. Israel’s 1967 military victory in the 1967 Six Day War was followed by reunification of a then-divided Jerusalem by conquering the eastern portion of the city and parts of the West Bank from Jordan (in addition to the Golan Heights from Syria and Gaza from Egypt). Palestinians demand east Jerusalem and the West Bank for a future country as part of the so-called “Two-State Solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Since that time, successive Israeli governments have approved or established 132 settlements, which most world powers consider as “illegal.”
“There will be no construction freeze in Judea and Samaria – period,” responded the Israeli Religious Zionism party (RZP) headed by Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich last week, following the recent reiteration by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken of Washington’s call for the Two-State Solution, in accordance with the Palestinian Authority’s own insistence for Israel to stop building.
In addition to the Finance Ministry, Minister Smotrich was also granted significant powers as part of his oversight of Defence Ministry organizations responsible for enforcing some regulations in the West Bank.
There has been no immediate reaction from the White House regarding Israel’s most recent moves, although earlier this month US Ambassador Thomas Nides said earlier this month, “We have been very clear about the ideas of legalizing outposts, massive settlement expansion – it will not keep the vision of the Two-State Solution alive – in which case we will oppose it and we will be very clear about our opposition.”