Friday, April 08, 2022

From Ian:

Barak Lufan, 35, dies of wounds from Tel Aviv terror attack, bringing toll to 3
Barak Lufan, a 35-year-old father of three, died on Friday from wounds sustained in the previous night’s terror attack in Tel Aviv, bringing the shooting’s death toll to three.

Lufan was one of several people who was seriously injured in the Thursday night attack, and succumbed on Friday evening at Ichilov Medical Center in Tel Aviv, the hospital said.

The attack on the Ilka bar on Dizengoff Street injured over 10 other people. The terrorist, 28-year-old Jenin resident Ra’ad Hazem, was shot dead after being discovered by security forces early Friday following a massive manhunt overnight.

Lufan was a resident of the central city of Givat Shmuel and grew up in Kibbutz Ginosar in northern Israel. He was a coach on Israel’s Paralympic team and the head coach of the Israeli national kayak team.

“Our beloved Barak, the grandson of the founders of Kibbutz Ginosar, an exemplary husband and father, an athlete with every fiber of his being, a member of the Olympic kayaking team staff, and an educator of the future generation in the field, has left us prematurely,” his family said in a statement.

Lufan was brought to the hospital in critical condition following the attack. On Friday morning, the hospital said he was in a “life-threatening” condition.

“Barak was critically wounded in the murderous attack last night and despite the doctors’ efforts, he was pronounced dead,” the hospital said in a statement on Friday.

“On such a heartbreaking day, we share in the grief of all the families of those murdered and wish for the recovery of the wounded,” Kibbutz Ginosar said.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennet said, “The entire nation of Israel shares the family’s heavy grief.”
Tel Aviv terror victims named as 27-year-olds Tomer Morad, Eytam Magini
The two victims of the terrorist shooting attack in Tel Aviv were named on Friday as Tomer Morad and Eytam Magini, two friends both aged 27 and originally from Kfar Saba.

The pair were at the Ilka bar on Dizengoff Street Thursday evening when a Palestinian terrorist opened fire at the crowded venue. Numerous others were wounded in the attack.

The terrorist, 28-year-old Jenin resident Ra’ad Hazem, was shot dead after being discovered by security forces early Friday following a massive manhunt overnight.

“Our city is in deep mourning,” Kfar Saba Mayor Rafi Sa’ar said, adding that the pair were childhood friends. “My heart is with the families of the victims.”

The two’s funerals were set to take place Sunday afternoon at Kfar Saba’s Pardes Haim cemetery.

“We knew that if we didn’t get an answer after 45 minutes, then it was them,” their friend Avi Benvenisti told the Haaretz newspaper.

He said that Morad and Magini had planned to meet up with some friends at Ilka and got there early.

“When you don’t get an answer after two or three hours, you put two and two together,” the friend said.

Throughout Friday morning, people arrived at the site of the attack to pay their respects, lighting candles and placing flowers.

Another friend, Alon Grossman, eulogized the pair and noted the deep friendship and bond the two had.


Tel Aviv Terrorist Found, Shot Dead in Firefight After Manhunt by Israeli Forces
The Palestinian terrorist who killed two people and wounded eight in a Tel Aviv bar was found and shot dead by Israeli security forces Friday, after an hours-long manhunt through the city.

The bar attack was the latest in a string of deadly street assaults that have killed 13 people and shaken the country.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Israel would broaden its operations against the “wave of terror” and that the attackers and those who send them would pay a “heavy price.”

The officers found the shooter hiding near a mosque in Jaffa, just south of Tel Aviv, Israel’s Shin Bet security agency said. During an exchange of fire, the attacker was killed, the agency said.

Shin Bet identified the gunman as a 28-year-old Palestinian from Jenin, a city in the West Bank, who was in Israel illegally.

Late on Thursday, at the start of the weekend in Israel, the attacker entered a pub on a crowded main street of Tel Aviv and began shooting, killing two 27-year-olds, Tomer Morad and Eytam Magini, and wounding several others before fleeing.

Residents were warned not to leave their homes as hundreds of Israeli security officers, assisted by a helicopter with a spotlight, combed the streets.


Stop the wave before it becomes a tsunami -analysis
Jenin is one of the more violent cities and refugee camps in the West Bank and Israeli security forces and Palestinian security forces tend not to operate there.

In April 2002, exactly 20 years ago, IDF troops entered Jenin as part of Operation Defensive Shield.

Troops, among them IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi, went house to house searching for terror operatives. The fiercely-fought “Battle of Jenin” is still vivid in the minds of all General Staff officers, as well as Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Defense Minister Benny Gantz.

In January Kohavi is reported to have said that the IDF has plans to operate in the city and was ready to launch a large-scale operation to act against terror cells. The plan was stopped after PA forces were pressured into acting.

Less than three months later the violence has not dissipated.

Because of that, militant extremists feel more confident in carrying out attacks and engaging with security forces who might enter the camp or city.

It was also in Jenin that security forces thwarted an armed Palestinian Islamic Jihad cell that the Shin Bet called a “ticking bomb.”

With weapons awash on the streets in the West Bank, Jenin youth do not need to belong to any terror group in order to carry assault rifles or use them to carry out a deadly attack.

Security forces need to focus the appropriately titled operation “Break the Wave” on the city, with troops operating in Jenin and its camp both day and night.

If jihadism can’t be extinguished, the weapons used to carry out these attacks at the very least must be confiscated.

Without a true offensive, with or without the cooperation of Palestinian security forces, the current wave of violence will become a tsunami.
Tel Aviv terrorist suspected of setting out for attack from Jaffa mosque — reports
Security officials reportedly believe the Palestinian terrorist who carried out the deadly shooting attack in Tel Aviv on Thursday night set out from the mosque in Jaffa where he was killed hours later in a firefight.

Ra’ad Hazem, a 28-year-old resident of the Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank, prayed at the mosque on Yefet Street before going on his deadly rampage in Tel Aviv, Haaretz reported on Friday.

No one in the mosque is suspected of having known of Hazem’s intentions, the report said.

Hazem killed two people and wounded over 10 others when he opened fire on a Tel Aviv bar. Hundreds of security forces launched an all-night manhunt through the streets of Tel Aviv to search for the shooter.

Hazem returned to the area of the mosque after the attack. He was located hours later, hiding near the house of worship and was killed in an exchange of fire with officers from the Yamam police counter-terrorism unit and Shin Bet internal security service.

There were no Israeli casualties in the gun battle.

The Shin Bet had in the past declined to grant Hazem an entry permit, but he had a thorough knowledge of Tel Aviv and the neighboring Arab-majority city of Jaffa after entering Israel illegally on a number of previous occasions, reports said.

Senior security officials told the Walla news site that Hazem had crossed into Israel through a hole in the security barrier near Jenin, even though the military recently fortified the fence in that area.
Tel Aviv terrorist, shot and killed near mosque, named as Ra’ad Hazem from Jenin
The Palestinian terrorist who carried out the deadly shooting attack in Tel Aviv on Thursday was named as Ra’ad Hazem, a 28-year-old resident of Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank. He was killed in a pre-dawn firefight near a closed Jaffa mosque where he was hiding out hours after the killing spree.

The Shin Bet security agency said he had “no clear organizational affiliation, no security background and no previous arrests” and was residing in Israel without an entry permit.

His father, Fathi Hazem, is a former security prisoner who previously served as an officer in the Palestinian Authority’s security services in Jenin.

Fathi praised his son’s actions to a crowd gathered in front of the family home on Friday morning.

“Your eyes will see the victory soon. Your will see change. You will achieve your freedom… God, liberate the Al-Aqsa Mosque from the desecration of the occupiers,” Fathi said, according to footage.

The crowd of Palestinians chanted that “the army of Mohammad” was coming to vanquish Israel.

“Many died in God’s path before you were even born. Years ago, they gave everything for God and for Palestine…now, we pass the flag to those after us,” said Fathi. “The sword of Mohammad is in your hands.”


Third victim of Tel Aviv terror attack a former Israeli Olympian
Barak Lopen, 35, is the third victim of Thursday's shooting attack on Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv, the family announced on Friday. Lopen was critically injured in the shooting and succumbed to his wounds at Sourasky Medical Center.

Lopen was a former Olympian kayaker and represented Israel in the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics.

He was originally from Kibbutz Ginossar on the shores of the Kinneret but lived in Givat Shmuel, and was married with three children.

Eitam Megini, 27, became engaged just last month to his girlfriends, Ayala, and the two were in the midst of wedding preparations when a terrorist opened fire in the Tel Aviv bar Ilka, where Megini was meeting his childhood friend Tomer Morad, 28, for a drink.

Instead of standing together under a wedding canopy, Ayala will now say goodbye to her fiancée at his funeral.

The two moved from Kfar Saba to live together as roommates in Tel Aviv, and Morad was employed at the bar where they were slain.

"We are all crushed," Ayala's mother, Leah, said." They started making [a guest list]. They already planned to see locations. Yesterday it was in the news that there was a terrorist attack and Ayala knew he was in the pub. She called him and he didn't answer. I also called him, and he didn't answer. We knew that if he didn't call to tell her that he is okay, then something happened. I went to Ichilov [hospital] and [they] asked to see a picture of him, because he didn't have any documentation on him. From their face I understood. Instead of a wedding, there will be a funeral."


Bennett says Tel Aviv terrorist had help, vows ‘no restrictions’ on Israeli response
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Friday said Israeli security forces would remain on high alert after killing the terrorist that carried out the deadly shooting attack in Tel Aviv, vowing “no limitations” on Israel’s response.

“This is exactly what is expected from our fighters,” Bennett said in a live address from military headquarters in Tel Aviv alongside Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Public Security Minister Omer Barlev. “If they wouldn’t have caught him and took him down now, this could have stretched out for several days.”

His comments came after two people were killed and numerous others wounded in a shooting attack Thursday on Dizengoff Street as it was crowded with Israelis marking the end of the work week at restaurants, bars and cafes.

The terrorist, a Palestinian from Jenin in the northern West Bank, was killed Friday morning in a firefight with security forces.

“We’re not lowering our alert level in Tel Aviv or across Israel,” Bennett said.

The premier pledged full backing for the security services following the attack, which followed several other recent deadly terror assaults in Israeli cities.

“We grant full freedom of action to the IDF, the Shin Bet and all security forces in order to eradicate terrorism. There are and will be no restrictions in this war,” he said.
Israel's PM Bennett addresses the public after Tel Aviv terrorist attack

Tel Aviv residents mourn victims of shooting

Tel Aviv residents gather at site of attack to sing in solidarity with victims

Idan Raichel Ends Concert With Israel Philharmonic Orchestra Playing ‘Hatikvah’ in Tribute to Victims of Tel Aviv Terror Attack
Israeli musician and composer Idan Raichel ended his performance on Thursday night with the Israel Philharmonic by having the orchestra play Israel’s national anthem, in memory of those injured and killed in the Tel Aviv terrorist attack that took place earlier in the evening.

Raichel asked the audience to stand and for the orchestra to play “Hativkah,” before stepping aside to let conductor Yaron Gottfried lead the musicians in the performance.

“No terrorist will stop us from singing tonight,” Raichel told the audience gathered at the Charles Bronfman Auditorium in Tel Aviv, after news broke that a gunman opened fire on a bar on Dizengoff Street in central Tel Aviv, killing three people and wounding several others.

Israeli security forces managed to track down the shooter, killing him in a firefight, the Shin Bet security agency said. The shooting was the fourth deadly attack in Israel in less than a month.


Meretz MK justifies PA payments to terrorists, apologizes
Payments from the Palestinian Authority to families of terrorists is justified, MK Gaby Lasky (Meretz) said in an interview to Kan Radio on Friday, drawing condemnations from both coalition and opposition politicians.

Lasky was asked about payments that the PA will give to the Tel Aviv attacker's family based on its policy to support families of dead or jailed terrorists.

"[We] need to the view the matter broadly," she responded. "There are children who are left without financial support, it is necessary that they not be taken advantage of or turn to terror themselves," she said.

"I know that people have a hard time hearing this, but I also think that there is no need for collective punishment of the families [of terrorists], there is no need to destroy homes or carry out administrative arrests," she added.

Lasky later apologized for the remarks.

"My comment was uncalled for and did not for a moment justify the nefarious terror [attack] and I apologize fot it," Lasky wrote on Twitter.

"I unequivocally condemn the horrific attack yesterday. [I] send condolences to the families [of the victims] and feel sorrow for their loss. There is no dispute here about supporting or opposing terror, since I state unequivocally that it must be fought against and it is necessary to do everything to ensure safety."

The comment drew broad criticism from across the political spectrum.
Security forces lash media for terror attack coverage: ‘Turned into a reality show’
In a joint statement on Friday, the Israel Police, Israel Defense Forces and Shin Bet security agency lashed media outlets for their sensationalist coverage of a terrorist attack in Tel Aviv the night before.

A terrorist opened fire on a bar in Tel Aviv on Thursday night, killing three and wounding over 10, before fleeing the scene. Hundreds of security personnel searched for the attacker for hours before killing him in a shootout in the neighboring city of Jaffa.

During the manhunt, television news crews tagged along with troops as they searched buildings, streets and alleyways, broadcasting the scene live.

“Some media outlets turned the pursuit of the terrorist into a reality show, without censorship or self-criticism,” the statement from the security forces said.

“The media broadcast what was happening live, the footage of the pursuit of the despicable terrorist was broadcast without any filters, to every home in Israel, and unfortunately also to the enemy,” the statement said.

The letter accused TV outlets of exposing the faces of soldiers in special units, their methods of operation, weapons and equipment.

The statement also said officials see a “worrying” rise in the sharing of “unfounded information, some of which is entirely false.” After the attack, rumors ran rampant on social media and messaging applications.


Top foreign diplomats, envoys condemn ‘appalling’ terror attack in Tel Aviv
Echoing Blinken, British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said the UK stood with Israel “against this abhorrent violence.”

“Appalled by the latest reports from Tel Aviv, where innocent people enjoying a Thursday night with friends and family were targeted by gunfire,” she remarked.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock labeled the perpetrator a “coward.”

“In yet another heinous terrorist attack in Israel, cowards attacked normal Tel Aviv citizens enjoying the evening before Shabbat,” Baerbock wrote on Twitter. “We mourn those killed and grieve with their families. Our thoughts are with the injured and with the emergency responders who are caring for them.”

Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg said he was “deeply shocked by the reports of another heinous terror attack.”

He added: “In these dark hours we stand by the people of Israel.”

“My solidarity is with the people of Israel, who have every right to live their lives free from terror and fear,” tweeted German Ambassador to Israel Susanne Wasum-Rainer. “We stand by your side.”

Tor Wennesland, the UN envoy for Middle East peace, said he was appalled by the attack and condemned the Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group for celebrating it.

“There is no glory in terror. These acts must stop now & be condemned by all,” he tweeted.

EU Ambassador Dimitar Tzantchev called the attack “appalling.”
Bahrain condemns 'terrorist operation' shooting in Tel Aviv
Bahrain on Friday condemned the attack that took place in Tel Aviv late on Thursday, describing it as a "terrorist operation" and offering condolences to the families of the victims and the Israeli government.

"We reiterate the Kingdom of Bahrain's position that opposes all forms of terrorism and violence no matter the motives and the justifications," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday condemned the terrorist attack on Tel Aviv's Dizengoff Street that saw three Israelis killed.

The killing of Palestinian and Israeli civilians only leads to further deterioration, Abbas said, urging a return to stability amid Ramadan and the upcoming Passover and Easter holidays, according to the Palestinian news agency WAFA.

However, Abbas further warned against Israeli settlers using the incident as an excuse to carry out attacks against Palestinians and warned against the dangers of continuing "repeated incursions into al-Aqsa Mosque and the provocative actions of extremist settlers everywhere."

The PA president is one of many prominent international figures to react to the attack.

According to Army Radio, The Turkish Embassy in Israel said: "We condemn the terrorist attack in Tel Aviv and are concerned about the increase in the number of [violent] events in recent times. We send our condolences to the people of Israel."

Chairman of the Defense Affairs, Interior & Foreign Affairs Committee at the UAE Federal National Council roundly condemned the violence, saying, "The holy month of Ramadan is a month of worship and reflection, but the terrorists always chose Ramadan to kill innocent people. We as Muslim[s] should take a firm action against these terrorists."


PA’s Abbas condemns Tel Aviv terror shooting: ‘We’re all striving for stability’
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the Dizengoff terror attack in Tel Aviv that left two Israelis dead on Thursday night.

“The killing of Palestinian and Israeli civilians only leads to a further deterioration of the situation, as we are all striving for stability, especially during the holy month of Ramadan and the upcoming Christian and Jewish holidays,” Abbas said in a statement carried by official PA media.

Two Israelis — childhood friends Tomer Morad and Eytam Magini, both 27 — were killed in the shooting spree on Dizengoff Street. Numerous others were wounded.

It was the second time Abbas has condemned Palestinian terrorism in recent weeks. Abbas slammed a similar attack in Bnei Brak in late March that left five Israelis dead in almost identical terms.

While Ramallah works closely with Israel to crack down on Palestinian terror groups in the West Bank, Abbas rarely publicly denounces specific acts of violence. Opinion polls regularly find large swathes of Palestinian society that view armed struggle as legitimate resistance to Israeli rule.

After Abbas’s last denunciation, a Fatah official described to The Times of Israel how the decision to condemn the violence had placed some in the movement in an “embarrassing position before their families and hometowns.”


Tel Aviv terrorist's family praises attack: 'Victory will come soon'
Shouts of joy were heard around the Jenin home of the Dizengoff Street terrorist on Friday morning as people celebrated joining the terrorist organizations and supporters on the streets of Palestinian towns and on social media.

"You will see the victory soon… God, liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque from the occupiers,” the terrorist's father - a former Palestinian Authority security officer - was filmed saying outside his house. The terrorist's uncle also praised his nephew on Facebook, saying that he had joined family members who had been killed in clashes with security forces.

Ismail Haniyeh, chairman of the Hamas Political Bureau, called the terrorist's father in order to praise his son.

Hamas called the attack a "natural and legitimate response to the escalation of the occupation's crimes against our people, our land, Jerusalem and al-Aqsa Mosque."

The terrorist movement added that it would "not allow" the "continuation of the occupation’s terrorism and crimes, and its attempts to Judaize Jerusalem, and to make sacrifices in the courtyards of al-Aqsa Mosque to build their alleged temple, on the so-called Passover holiday."


Palestinian Terror Groups Celebrate Attack in Heart of Tel Aviv
Palestinian terror groups were seen celebrating the attack that has left two people dead and at least a dozen wounded in downtown Tel Aviv on Thursday night.

Hamas said the attack was a “natural and legitimate response to the escalation of the occupation’s crimes against our people, our land, Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa mosque.”

The terror group that rules the Gaza Strip added that it would “not allow the continuation of the occupation’s terrorism and crimes, and its attempts to Judaize Jerusalem and to make sacrifices in the courtyards of Al-Aqsa mosque to build their alleged temple, on the so-called Passover holiday.”

The Popular Resistance Committees, which is Gaza’s third largest terror group, also issued a statement congratulating the “heroic operation” in Tel Aviv.

So far, no organization has claimed responsibility for the attack.


Melanie Phillips: Ukraine's key lesson for international order
When the United Nations brazenly discriminates against Israel by singling it out for wildly unjust and false accusations while ignoring or downplaying actual atrocities elsewhere, the west fails even to realise how shocking this is.

Assuming that the United Nations is indeed the guarantor of global conscience, the west uncritically accepts its persecution of Israel as a moral lodestar.

There has been much talk of Ukraine serving as a wake-up call to the west. This is surely wildly overstated.

For despite the murmurs that Russia should be expelled from even the United Nations itself, the west has not yet acknowledged the key point being signalled by the war against Ukraine.

This is that the assumption which has underpinned world affairs since the end of the Second World War is fundamentally mistaken. World institutions cannot police freedom, peace and justice, because the way most of the world is run is inimical to freedom, peace and justice.

These values are produced only by individual nations committed to upholding them.

The United Nations is not the solution. It is the problem. Instead of relying upon trans-national institutions or laws to defend justice and international order, free societies need to build alliances with other states like themselves. Ultimately, a nation’s defence lies in its own hands.

Israel has always understood this. As a result of decades of fighting existential enemies, and with faithless “friends” in the west whose actions so often undermine its defences and empower those enemies, it knows it can only ever rely on itself to survive.

Israel understands that the United Nations is a broken institution that helps sow chaos, terror and injustice. It knows that because it has been so often at the receiving end.

The west, which has not, still hasn’t woken up to the implosion of its grievously defective ideal.


Elharrar: Israel ready to export gas to Europe via Egypt in September
Israel is preparing to step into the gap in Europe’s energy market left by sanctions on Russian natural gas as soon as this summer, Energy Minister Karin Elharrar said on Thursday.

“The European energy market is facing a substantial shortage following the Russia crisis,” Elharrar said. “Israel sees an opportunity, and will take full advantage of it.”

Russia provides Europe with about 40% of its natural gas consumption per year, more than 150 billion cubic meters (BCM). Israel cannot totally take Russia’s place, but eastern Mediterranean states can provide about 20 BCM annually, most of which would come from Israel. The US promised Europe 15-20 BCM of liquefied natural gas (LNG) following the Russia sanctions, and Qatar is expected to export 20-30 BCM to Europe.

“We’re not a replacement for Russian gas, but we have a good amount that we can export,” a senior diplomatic source said this week, commenting that the energy issue comes up as “a huge issue for everyone” in most conversations between top Israeli officials and foreign counterparts.

“The question is what is the quickest and most cost-efficient method, and what is most beneficial to all those involved,” said the source.




 


 



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