Son of shooting victim says “revenge is not for Jews” 25Dec09 December 26, 2009

by Chaim Levinson, Avi Issachroff and Anshel Pfeffer  -  Haaretz -  25 December 2009


Hundreds of mourners gathered in Jerusalem on Friday morning to bury Rabbi Meir Hai, a father of seven who was shot dead by Palestinians near his home in the West Bank a day before.

In eulogizing his father, Hai’s 16-year-old son Eliyahu urged mourners not to consider seeking revenge for the attack. “The difference between us and them is that we are people, Jews, holy,” he said.

Hai, a resident of the West Bank settlement Shavei Shomron, was killed in a shooting attack on a road near his home. He was laid to rest on Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives.

The Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades and the Islamic Jihad have both claimed responsibility for the attack.

Hai, a 40-year-old teacher and father of seven, was killed when militants opened fire at his car on the road between Shavei Shomron and the nearby settlement Einav in the West Bank. He was alone in his car.

An IDF officer said that in the past week a roadblocks had been removed on the road Hai was driving on, about 150 meters from where he was shot.

The roadblock, known as the barrels roadblock, monitored the traffic around Nablus in the direction of Tul Karm, the officer said. The perpetrators are believed to have fled through where the roadblock used to be to Asira al-Shamaliyah.

Over the past year, the number of terror attacks in the West Bank has dramatically decreased thanks mainly to the Shin Bet security service and IDF. However, IDF officials say attempts to carry out terror attacks continue, especially those perpetrated by local individuals working alone.

Last month two people were stabbed at a Kiryat Arba gas station. The assailant was shot by a security guard and a soldier on leave who happened to be there.

Brig. Gen. Nitzan Alon, commander of the Israel Defense Forces’ Judea and Samaria division, said at a press briefing on Thursday that the IDF was trying to find the assailants with the help of preliminary intelligence.

The car used by the attackers was found later burned out in the village of Asira Al-Shamaliyah.

Shas: Rebuild road block near Einav

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected a number of appeals made by ministers over the last few months to discuss the removal of West Bank checkpoints, Army Radio reported on Friday.

Shas Chairman Eli Yishai headed the ministers calling for debate, telling Netanyahu that: “Past experience teaches us that removing roadblocks as part of an effort to ease conditions for Palestinians increasing their attempts to attack Jews.”

The Prime Minister’s Bureau would not respond to the report.

Shas MK Nissim Ze’ev has called for the roadblock to be reconstructed near Einav, on the road where Hai was killed afternoon.

The attack sparked harsh responses on the right on Thursday evening. The Yesha Council of settlements issued a statement saying that “the murderous shooting attack in Samaria is a direct result of the policy of lifting restrictions on the Palestinians, removing necessary roadblocks in Judea and Samaria and transferring the responsibility for security to those whose ranks have produced many terrorists who murdered Jews. As in similar incidents in the past, once again the gestures aimed at Abu Mazen [Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas] carry a price tag of Jewish blood.”

MK Michael Ben Ari (National Union) said that “the path of capitulation, the road openings, the [settlement construction] freeze and the release of [Palestinian] prisoners that [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu has imposed on us convey to terrorists that Jewish blood is cheap. The terrorist probably thinks that he will be released in the next exchange.

“The Arabs interpret the Israeli government’s decisions as a green light to harm settlers.”

Another settler committee issued a statement saying that “the murder is a completely predictable outcome of the government’s behavior. Anyone who plans to wage war against his Jewish brothers essentially helps Arab terrorists.”

The statement added that “this is what happens when the government and army’s top priority is the release of murderers and they persecute Jewish settlers.”

The head of the Samaria regional council, Gershon Mesika, said that “after a long period of calm, the central roadblock between Samaria communities and Tul Karm was recently removed, despite our warnings. The Israeli government put the ‘Palestinian fabric of life’ above the lives of its citizens.”

The head of the Kedumim council, Hananel Dorani, said that “this murderous attack is a direct result of the government’s weakness, [reflected by] the construction freeze in Judea and Samaria and the turning of security resources against Jews.

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