August 31, 2010
It’s been a while since I photographed dead bodies. The last time I remember clearly was the murder of Yossi Shok from Beit Haggai who was shot and killed similarly on a Friday afternoon a few years ago. That attack entailed a few miracles. I recall that there were others in the car, teenage girls, who miraculously weren’t hurt.
But tonight, no miracles. This morning, speaking with a friend, talking about the renewed ‘piece talks’, I told him that more than likely today or tomorrow terrorists would strike. It was just a question of where – around here, the Shomron, or Jerusalem or Tel Aviv. Tonight we received our answer.
Leaving Ma’arat HaMachpela after evening prayers, the beeper beeped. A car had been shot at. A quick phone call, confirming that Jews had been hit, four critically, and I sped off. I had been at the scene of the shooting only a few hours ago, examining how Arabs were stealing water from Jews in the area.
By the time I arrived, the description had changed. No longer four critically wounded. Four dead. Four killed, shot by terrorists, on their way home. The terrorists’ lives have been made much easier in the past year or so, with various roadblocks being removed in Judea and Samaria. Now it’s fairly simple to access roads used by Jewish civilians, shoot, and then escape.
The scene was reminiscent of others I’ve witnessed in the past. Ambulances, jeeps, police, medics, soldiers, officers, red lights flashing….and bodies.
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen four bodies on the street, murdered by Arabs only because they are Jews, living in Israel.
I sit here, half numb, almost not believing, but knowing that, yes, it’s real. And what to do?
The first thing that must be done: Netanyahu has to return immediately, cancelling tomorrow’s ‘festive ceremony’ renewing the so-called negotiations with Obama and Abu Mazen. Israel must make it as clear as possible: we refuse to accept, under any circumstances, and at any price, murder of innocent people on our roads, in our homes, anywhere. No excuses, no looking the other way, no ‘ifs ands or buts.’ More than the Arabs, Obama must understand in no uncertain terms that our people are not cattle-feed.
Two: Netanyahu must unfreeze the freeze now. Not on September 26, not leaving everyone wondering ‘what’s he going to do?’ Tomorrow, as these four pure souls are being buried, building must again begin throughout Judea and Samaria. Here again, the Arabs and the Americans must understand that we will not turn the other cheek; there is a price for murdering Jews in Israel.