Elad attack claims 4th victim

75-year-old Shimon Ma’atuf succumbed to severe injuries he sustained in the deadly Palestinian terror attack on 5 May.

By Erin Viner

The father of six and grandfather of 13 was severely wounded during celebration of Israeli Independence Day when two Palestinian terrorists carried out an horrific axe attack in the central, largely ultra-Orthodox Jewish city of Elad about 15 km (9 miles) from Tel Aviv.

Ma’atuf, who was working as a security guard, managed to open fire on of the axe-wielding assailants prior to being struck in the head and jaw.

Three Israelis were killed in the immediate aftermath of the vicious attack: Yonatan Havakuk, 44, Boaz Gol, 49, and Oren Ben Yiftah, 35. Elad residents Havakuk and Gol were each the fathers of five children, while Ben Yiftah who the father of six who lived in Lod. Two others in addition to Ma’atuf, were critically injured.

After undergoing emergency surgery at the Rabin Medical Center, the latest victim eventually lost his life after remaining in a coma for the past nine months.

Israeli security services launched a successful manhunt for the terrorists, capturing As’ad Alrafa’ani, 19, and Sabhi abu Shakir, 20, from the Palestinian village of Rumana near Jenin.

The Islamist Hamas rulers of Gaza praised the Elad attack, which came just days after the terror group’s leader Yahyah Sinwar called on Palestinians and Israeli Arabs to kill Jews by any means.

The Elad killings were among a surge of murderous Palestinian attacks on Israelis last spring that prompted the defense establishment to launch Operation Waves Breaker aimed at eradicating Arab terror. Terrorists killed 31 people in Israel during 2022 and seven so far this year.

Near-nightly raids continue to be carried out by IDF, the Israeli Security Agency (ISA) and Border Police Special Operations Units.