Thursday, March 06, 2008

Anatomy of a Terror Attack

Trying to listen to each other over the music, we were sitting around the table this evening at a friend's simcha. 8:38 PM. The person opposite me gets a phone call on his cellphone, looks at me and says, "there's a terrorist right now shooting in Yeshiva Merkaz Harav."

My reply, "Why is he still shooting? How is it still going on? Why doesn't someone shoot him?"

Person to my left says, "Jameel, how can there be an attack going on and you don't know about it?"

I thought about that for a second and checked my beeper. Nothing.

Checked my cellphone. Nothing.

Checked my Hatzala radio..."Message Received" was blinking ominously. I hadn't heard the message come in over the din of the music.

Seconds are wasted in frustration, flipping to the SMS menu.

"ARAN ARAN ARAN (Mass Casualty Event) in Jerusalem, switch to channel 1"

I'm not in Jerusalem but in the Shomron, yet all EMTs switches to channel 1 to hear how bad it is. There have events before so bad that EMTs have left the Shomron and Central Israel regions to help.

The chaos of a terror attack blares through on my emergency radio's Channel 1.

Sirens and confusion are the backdrop to the voices reporting over my radio, as the forcedly calm voice, directs volunteer EMTs to the scene.

I call my friend Lurker in Jerusalem and tell him to get on the internet to see whats going on. He says the news sites have nothing; I tell him which site to go to. Its all there, reports coming in. Killed. Wounded. Terrorists in the Yeshiva.

Outside the simcha hall I'm getting phone calls from people; some walk over. I don't want to say how bad it is. JoeSettler calls me up with his report. Lurker calls me back with another report. Hatzala keeps yelling at its volunteers that there might be another live terrorist still there.

And then, there's a family at the simcha who have a son in the yeshiva. Another couple frantically tries to reach that son, hoping, praying he's ok. He's found. The parents are gently told about the attack, but their son is ok. The walk away in shock.

Everyone receives conflicting reports; my MDA beeper keeps going off. The IDF sends an update. Our whole Shomron region has gone to higher alert; our counter terror unit (kitat konenut) goes on alert for Shabbat.

Arab rocks are thrown at car outside our settlement.

Lurker calls. Another Qassam missile in Sedeort - a house is hit. More wounded.

As of now in Jerusalem's attack at 11:26 PM: 8 Dead. 7 Wounded.

Chodesh tov. Shabbat Shalom.
I'm about to press publish when an incoming email from our community list catches my eye:
Please say tehillim immediately for my nephew, יהונתן בן אביטל who was wounded tonight in the terror attack. He's going into emergency surgery now.
He was niftar last night. Hashem Yikom Damo.

After thought: The location of tonight's terror attack was at the Merkaz HaRav Yeshiva in Jerusalem -- founded by Rav Avraham HaCohen Kook. In 1929, when the news of the progrom in Hevron was relayed to Rav Kook, he fainted. After rousing him, he was asked if he was ok. He replied, "How can a Jew not faint when hearing such terrible news."

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד


mother in israel said...

We were also at a simcha, but not in the Shomron, and one of the families left because their son learns there. He was fine. One of the couples at our table was counting down his sons and nephews to his wife--they learn in Yeshiva Letzeirim (Merkaz high school). THey are fine and were all at the kotel for Rosh Hodesh. BUt I'm sure our friends who made the simcha are just learning about it now.

Anonymous said...

Any other names for tehilim?

The back of the hill said...

Anybody want to counterdemonstrate aginst the Israel-haters who will be outside the consulate tomorrow?

Friday, March 7, 2008
4 PM
Israeli Consulate
456 Montgomery Street, San Francisco

If you show up, there are two things to bear in mind:
1. People will remember in detail slogans that seem to dehumanize those poor Pallies, but not even hear any outright anti-Semitism from the other side. It's remarkable.
2. The anti-Israel crowd tomorrow may be more venomous than usual - it's Friday, and that means robed radicals from some of the mosques, and lots of screamed hate.

Remember to dress warmly - the Montgomery Street corridor is a frigid wind tunnel in late afternoon.

Oh, and feel free to bring a pocket flask. Not that we encourage Dutch courage, dot-dot-dot.

Anonymous said...

Praying for a refuah shlaima for your nephew...

Anonymous said...

Informed sources tell me that when mada went in they found 30 magazines ? 600+ bullets fired and 18 hit thats a miracle.

I mourn for the 8 dead..

After 4 months so far os misrad hapnim foot dragging and no gun permit yet.. i only wonder; "do terrorists need to apply for permits for their guns?"

I think back to my argument friday night with Rav avinoam horowitz in chevron.. I am very close with tyhe family and we were discusing my gun.. so h says "why do you need a gun"

Why did dadon need a gun?

Anonymous said...

Moving post Jameel.

(typo in last paragraph- pogrom in Hevron)

Yellow Boy

ProfK said...

What tomorrow will bring politically will come tomorrow. Tonight belongs to the parents and families of those who died and who are fighting for their lives in hospitals. If Klal is to raise its voice tonight, let it be with tefilos for a full refuah shelaymoh for the wounded. And may the families of those who died be comforted among the mourners of Zion. Hashem y'rachem.

Anonymous said...

Rav Tzvi Yehuda further told us that after the Rav heard the news of the Hevron massacre, he was never well again until the day he died.

May Hashem have mercy on His people Israel wherever they may be, and may He avenge the blood of the murdered victims of our enemies.

Anonymous said...

Funeral is at 10am from yeshivat merkaz harav..

Trust me I am VERY busy but I am going and so should the rest of you!

Say tehillim for:

Yonaton ben Avital
Naftali ben Gila
Yonatan ben Avital
Shimon Ben Tirtza
Nadav ben Hadas
Reuven ben Naomi
Elchanan ben Zehava

G said...

Funeral is at 10am from yeshivat merkaz harav..

Anybody know if there will be a hookup for the States?

Anonymous said...

Here are the names of the first four from JPost:

The names of four of the victims' of Thursday night's shooting attack in central Jerusalem's Mercaz Harav Yeshiva were released early Friday.

They four were identified as: Yohai Livshitz, 18, from Jerusalem; Yonatan Yitzhak Eldar, 16, from Shilo; Yonadav Haim Hirchfeld, 19, from Kohav Hashahar; and Neria Cohen, 15, also from the capital.

Jack Steiner said...

So sad.

mother in israel said...

They just released the rest of the names:
Roi Rot 18 from Elkana
Segev Penial Avihayil 15.5 from Neve Daniel
Avraham David Moses 16.5 from Efrat
Maharta Trono 25 from Ashdod.
Hashem yikom damam.

Kosher Foodie said...

HaShem Yikom Domom!!!
Ad mosai?

Anonymous said...

What a horrific beginning of the new month. For how much longer will innocent blood be spilled? Thank you for your moving post, and thank you Elchonon and other commenters for posting the names of the victims and (lehavdil bein chayim lechayim) the wounded.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Thanks all for your comments. Unfortuantely, the boy Yontan Ben Avital died of his wounds.

(As a clarification, he was not my nephew, but the nephew of someone in my community, where the email I quoted came from)

Shabbat Shalom...

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