The Times of Israel liveblogged events late Thursday and Friday as they unfolded.
Jordan warns against eviction of Palestinians in South Hebron Hills area
The Jordanian Foreign Ministry has issued a warning against a planned eviction of 1,300 Palestinians living in eight villages in the South Hebron Hills, as well as plans to approve the construction of nearly 4,000 settlement homes in other areas of the West Bank.
The ministry’s spokesman, Haitham Abu Alfoul, says “the settlement expansion is a flagrant breach of international law and resolutions,” according to the official Petra news agency.
“Abu Alfoul stressed that the Israeli settlement policy whether in establishing or expanding settlements, seizing lands or forcibly displacing Palestinians, is an illegal policy which is rejected and condemned,” the statement reads.
Police investigating fire at Tomb of Benjamin near Kfar Saba
Police say they have launched an investigation into a fire at a shrine on the Route 55 highway, between the central city of Kfar Saba and the West Bank town of Qalqilya.
The site is believed to be the burial place of Benjamin, the son of Jacob.
“Police officers are conducting on-site searches alongside collecting forensic findings and are summoning a fire investigator,” police say.
Police add that the circumstances of the fire are still under investigation.
Ex-defense secretary: Trump sought to strike top Iranian officer for political reasons
Mark Esper, Donald Trump’s second and last secretary of defense, says in a new book that the former US president wanted to strike a senior Iranian military commander in August 2020, several months before the election.
Esper writes that General Mark Milley, who headed the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told him that Robert O’Brien, Trump’s national security advisor called to say that “the president wanted to strike a senior military officer who was operating outside of Iran,” according to The Guardian.
“Milley and I were aware of this person and the trouble he had been stirring in the region for some time. But why now? What was new? Was there an imminent threat? What about gathering the national security team to discuss this?” Esper writes.
“Milley said he was ‘stunned’ by the call, and he sensed that ‘O’Brien put the president up to this,’ trying to create news that would help Trump’s re-election,” he adds.
In January 2020, the US struck Qassem Suleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds force in Baghdad.
“Any attack by Iran, in any form, against the United States will be met with an attack on Iran that will be 1,000 times greater in magnitude!” Trump tweeted in September 2020.
Many feared he would attempt to provoke a war with Iran as the November 2020 election neared.
Elad victims’ families asked ministers not to attend funerals — report
The families of the three victims killed in last night’s terror attack in Elad asked government ministers not to attend the funerals earlier today, Channel 12 news reports.
According to the network, Religious Affairs Minister Matan Kahana was heading to the procession in the ultra-Orthodox city, but turned around after hearing of the request.
There is no immediate comment from ministers on why none of them showed up to the funerals.
Police to crack down on illegal Palestinian workers, commissioner says
Police commissioner Kobi Shabtai orders law enforcement to begin a nationwide operation against Palestinians who illegally enter Israel from the West Bank, and those who assist them.
Thousands of Palestinians illegally enter Israel every day for work through the many holes in the West Bank security barrier. The Israeli military has ramped up defensive operations along the border in recent weeks following a string of attacks.
The two Palestinian terrorists who killed three and severely wounded several others in Elad last night illegally entered Israel and were transported by one of the victims, Oren Ben Yiftah, security officials say.
Police occasionally arrest illegal Palestinians in Israel. Earlier today, six illegal workers were arrested, along with an Israeli driver near the northern city of Tiberias.
Oren Ben Yiftah, first victim of Elad attack, was unware he was transporting two terrorists — reports
Oren Ben Yiftah from Lod is named as the victim who on Thursday transported the two Palestinian terrorists from the West Bank security barrier to the city of Elad, before being killed.
According to Hebrew-language media reports, Ben Yiftah did not know the pair were illegals. He had transported them at least ten times in the past to work in the ultra-Orthodox city, and was unaware of their attack plans.
After the two terrorists killed Ben Yiftah in his car, they continued to a nearby park and killed two more people, and severely wounded three others.
One of the 3 Elad victims transported terrorists to city from West Bank barrier, officials say
Security officials say they suspect the two Palestinian terrorists who killed three and severely wounded several others in Elad last night arrived in the car of one of the victims.
The victim collected the two terrorists from an area near the security fence. Officials say the pair worked illegally in the city.
Once they arrived at the city, the two attacked and killed the man, before continuing their attack in the nearby park.
Officials did not yet specify which of the three victims had transported the terrorists.
According to Hebrew-language media reports, the victim knew the two and had transported them at least 10 times to the ultra-Orthodox city.
Two victims seriously hurt in Elad terror attack no longer in life-threatening condition
Officials at Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva say two victims seriously wounded in the terror attack in Elad are now in a stable condition.
Dr. Uzi Ben David, deputy of the neurosurgery ward, tells Channel 13 news that the two are still in a serious condition, but their injuries are no longer life-threatening.
Both victims underwent surgery last night and this morning, and they are currently on respirators and are sedated.
The two were struck in the head by axe-wielding Palestinian terrorists in the ultra-Orthodox city last night.
Lapid speaks with UAE counterpart on Elad terror attack, Independence Day
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid speaks with his Emirati counterpart, Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Lapid’s office says.
“Sheikh Abdullah strongly and sharply condemned the terrorist attack in Elad, offered condolences to the families of those killed, and congratulated Minister Lapid on Independence Day,” the Foreign Ministry says in a statement.
“The two expressed hope that days of peace and security will come to the residents of Israel,” the statement adds.
Police expand search for Elad terrorists in Rosh Ha’ayin
The Rosh Ha’ayin municipality tells residents that police and security forces are searching for two Palestinian terrorists in a neighborhood in the central city.
“According to an update we received from the police, scans carried out in the Psagot [neighborhood] were found to be normal,” the municipality says, meaning that nothing unusual has been found yet.
“Security forces and police are deployed throughout the city,” it adds.
Police believe the two terrorists who killed three and severely wounded several others in Elad last night, are still in the area and have not crossed back to the West Bank.
Elad is located a few kilometers south of Rosh Ha’ayin, and both are close to the security barrier with the West Bank.
Red Crescent: 38 hurt in clashes with IDF troops in West Bank
The Palestinian Red Crescent says 38 Palestinians have been hurt in clashes with Israeli troops in the West Bank town of Beita and nearby Bayt Dajan.
The emergency service says two 13-year-olds were hit by rubber-tipped bullets in the foot, while the rest suffered light injuries from tear gas.
Clashes were also reported near the West Bank town of Kafr Qaddum.
Palestinians regularly clash with Israel Defense Forces soldiers on Friday afternoons.
Security official: Dozens of attacks foiled, more than 500 arrested since start of terror wave
A security official quoted by the Kan public broadcaster says at least 66 terror attacks were foiled since mid-March, the beginning of the wave of recent attacks.
The source adds that more than 500 individuals suspected of terror activity have been arrested, the network adds.
Russia to stay in southern Ukraine ‘forever,’ senior lawmaker says
MOSCOW — A senior official from the Russian parliament says Russia will remain in southern Ukraine “forever,” speaking on a visit to the Moscow-controlled city of Kherson.
“Russia is here forever. There should be no doubt about this. There will be no return to the past,” Andrey Turchak says, according to a statement from the ruling United Russia party.
Zelensky says Ukraine still open to talks with Russia
LONDON — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says he is still open to negotiations with Russia, but only if Moscow withdraws its forces to their pre-invasion positions.
Zelensky tells a meeting at London’s Chatham House think-tank that “regaining the situation as of the 23rd of February” — the day before the invasion — is a prerequisite for talks.
He says “in that situation we will be able to start discussing things normally,” and Ukraine could use “diplomatic channels” to regain its territory.
The British government, a key ally of Ukraine, has said Russia must be driven from all of Ukraine, including Crimea, which Moscow seized from Ukraine in 2014.
Despite Russia’s intensified attack on Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, Zelensky says there is still space for diplomacy. He says “not all the bridges are yet destroyed,” figuratively speaking.
Asked whether Russia would soon take full control of the besieged port city of Mariupol, Zelenskyy says: “Mariupol will never fall. I’m not talking about heroism or anything … There is nothing there to fall apart. It is already devastated.”
Pope said to cancel upcoming trip to Israel
Pope Francis has canceled an upcoming trip to Israel, according to Hebrew-language media reports.
The planned trip was not officially confirmed by the Vatican, but according to reports the Pope was expected to arrive in the country on June 15.
The reports said his office said the trip — which was also to include other Middle East states — is canceled over his knee pain.
However, a political source tells the Israel Hayom newspaper that a recent wave of terror attacks in Israel seems to have had an impact on the Vatican’s decision not to come to the Holy Land at this stage.
Chief rabbi calls to carry firearms in synagogues following Elad attack
The Sephardic chief rabbi of Israel, Yitzhak Yosef, issues a rare public statement, calling on Orthodox Jews with firearm licenses to carry their weapons in synagogues, following last night’s deadly terror attack in Elad.
“Due to the tense security situation, those with a license to carry a weapon… should bring it to the synagogue and help secure the public,” the statement reads.
Police officials have indicated that the two terrorists may still be in the Elad area.
Police manhunt for terrorists focusing around Elad
Police say forces are continuing to search for the two terrorists who killed three people and severely wounded several others in the central city of Elad last night.
“Even at this time, Israel Police are continuing extensive operational activities with the security forces, with the aim of capturing the terrorists who fled the murder scene yesterday,” police say in a statement.
Footage posted by residents to social media shows large forces scanning around the perimeter of the city, with a helicopter flying overhead.
“Our working assumption is that they are in the Elad area, so there are hundreds of security forces personnel who are there and scanning,” Israel Police central district commander Avi Bitton says.
Kremlin: No plans for V-Day celebrations in Mariupol but ‘a time will come’
MOSCOW — The Kremlin says there won’t Victory Day celebrations in Ukraine’s Mariupol, a strategic port city that Russian troops claimed control of last month.
Victory Day — celebrated annually on May 9 — is a symbolic holiday in Russia marking the Soviet victory in World War II, accompanied by a grand military parade in Moscow and smaller events across Russian cities.
“A time will come and there will be a big celebration there,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov tells reporters, adding that there were no plans for official visits on the day.
“There will certainly be Russians there, and there will be many Russians on May 9, but I don’t know about any official delegation,” Peksov says.
Russian troops besieged Mariupol for several weeks and hundreds are believed to have died in the southeastern Ukrainian city that was left without access to food, water or electricity.
Some Ukrainian soldiers and civilians remain holed up in the city’s huge Azovstal steel plant, sheltering in a Soviet-era network of underground tunnels.
The Russian army had announced a three-day ceasefire at the steelworks starting yesterday to allow civilians to leave but a Ukrainian commander said Moscow’s forces had violated that promise.
Israeli official: US stressed opposition to new settlement homes, but no threat made
The Biden administration has in recent weeks expressed its opposition to Israeli plans to advance a new batch of settlement homes, an Israeli official tells The Times of Israel.
“They emphasized their long-held position, but it wasn’t a threat,” the Israeli official says.
There was no threat to cancel Biden’s trip in June if the approvals went forward, a source familiar says.
Father of Elad terror suspect says hasn’t heard from son in 2 days
The father of one of the suspected Elad attackers tells Palestinian media that he last saw his son two days ago and had not heard from him since.
As’ad al-Rifa’i is one of two Palestinians believed to have killed three Israelis yesterday in Elad in a deadly terror attack.
“All I know is that my son went to go work with his friend Subhi in Ramallah. That’s it, nothing more,” Yousef al-Rifa’i says.
Yousef says that his son As’ad worked in construction in Israel and occasionally helped out his friend Subhi’s electrical business. Israeli authorities suspect Subhi of committing the attack along with As’ad.
“No one has told us anything — not the Jews, not the Palestinian Authority,” Yousef adds.
Planning c’tee to advance plans for nearly 4,000 settlement homes at upcoming meeting
The Civil Administration’s planning committee will advance plans to build nearly 4,000 new housing units in West Bank settlements when it convenes next week.
Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked tweeted that the committee would convene next week to approve 4,000 homes, calling construction in the West Bank a “basic, required and obvious thing.”
Haaretz reports that the Civil Administration will meet Thursday to advance 1,452 units, and that another 2,536 units will be approved by Defense Minister Benny Gantz.
Biden administration said to tell Israel not to approve any new settlement building
The Biden administration in recent days has told Israel not to approve any new West Bank settlement construction during an upcoming meeting of the panel that approves building projects there, Channel 12 news reports.
According to the network, the message was relayed by at least three American officials to senior figures in Jerusalem.
An unnamed source quoted in the report says the White House condition US President Joe Biden’s scheduled trip to Israel on there being no announcements of new settlement construction.
Israel said to warn Hamas chief in Gaza of potential retaliation for encouraging terror
Israeli officials have indirectly warned Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar of possible retaliation following a series of recent terror attacks, Channel 12 news reports.
According to the network, diplomatic and security officials relayed the message to Sinwar via mediators of unspecified origin before three Israelis were killed by terrorists in Elad last night. The officials reportedly said Hamas’s claim of responsibility for the deadly shooting attack in Ariel and Sinwar’s speech urging Palestinians and Arab Israelis to commit terror mean Israel has freedom of action in the Gaza Strip.
The report said the officials also clarified to Sinwar that they consider him a terror instigator and will respond accordingly.
Meanwhile, an unnamed Israeli security official tells the Haaretz daily that no organizational link has been found between the Elad assailants and Hamas, but they are believed to have been influenced by his call to carry out attacks against Israelis.
Funerals held for the 3 victims of Elad terror attack
The funeral processions for the three men killed last night by terrorists set out from the site of the attack in Elad.
Elad residents Yonatan Havakuk and Boaz Gol will be buried, respectively, at cemeteries in Petah Tivka and Jerusalem, while Oren Ben Yiftah of Lod will be laid to rest in his hometown.
Twin brother of Elad terror victim: ‘He had a heart of gold’
The twin brother of a man killed in the deadly Elad terror attack said he saw his brother hours before he was murdered as they celebrated Israeli Independence Day together as a family.
“We had a barbecue and he was kissing me non-stop, like that on the shoulders. He told me ‘may it only be good for you’ and said I should go to him if anything is painful for me,” Lior Ben Yiftah, the twin of Oren Ben Yiftah, tells the Ynet news site.
“He had a heart of gold, he only did good things and wanted to help others,” Lior says. Since receiving the news, Lior adds, “I am only in pain. My flower is gone, my heart has gone with him… I can’t believe my brother is gone.”
Son of Elad terror victim: I called home and was told dad isn’t answering
The son of Boaz Gol, who was killed in Elad by terrorists last night, said he was studying at yeshiva when he heard about the attack.
“I called home and they told me dad isn’t answering,” Or Hahayim Gol told reporters. “I called dad… and eventually said [to myself] he usually lets us know at home when there are things like this.”
Gol says he was then told to return home.
“I arrived home and outside they told me that dad lost a lot of blood and didn’t survive,” he says.
He adds that the family “has no other support,” saying his father would run errands and do all sorts of chores around the house.
EU condemns deadly terror attack in Elad: ‘This violence must stop’
The European Union condemns the terror attack in Elad last night that left three dead and several others wounded.
“Our thoughts are with the victims and their families. We wish a speedy recovery to those injured. The EU stands with Israel and its people at this difficult time,” the bloc’s foreign affairs division says in a statement. “This violence must stop. The European Union remains firmly committed to the prevention and fight against terrorism.”
Father of alleged Elad terrorist said arrested while working in Israel
Israeli forces arrest Emad Subhi Abu Shqeir — the father of one of the alleged Elad terrorists — inside Israel, according to Palestinian media.
Abu Shqeir, 50, was working inside Israel when he was apprehended by Israeli troops, the Palestinian Prisoners Information Office reports.
Son of man wounded in Elad recounts attack: Dad said ‘Where’s mom?’ and told me to go home
A young boy whose father was wounded last night in Elad recounts the deadly terror assault.
“Dad said ‘Where’s mom?’ and [told me] to go home,” the boy says in a video. “I thought the bad guys wouldn’t kill Jews but then I saw they actually stabbed my dad.”
“I saw two people, one of them had a knife. I said in my heart that this won’t also happen to us,” he adds.
Father of 6 killed in Elad terror attack to be buried in Lod Friday afternoon
The funeral for Oren Ben Yiftah, a father of six killed in the deadly terror attack in Elad, will be held this afternoon.
Ben Yiftah will be buried at a cemetery in Lod, where he lived.
Man seriously hurt in Elad terror attack no longer faces risk to his life after surgery
A doctor at Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva says a patient seriously wounded in the deadly terror attack in Elad no longer faces a threat to his life.
Dr. Yosef Laviv, a neurologist at the hospital, says the patient is on a respirator in stable condition after undergoing surgery.
He adds that another patient who the hospital earlier said was fighting for his life is still being operated on.
Widow of Elad terror victim mourns loss of husband: ‘God, why did this happen to us?’
A woman widowed in last night’s deadly terror attack in Elad mourns the loss of her husband Boaz Gol, one of the three victims.
“How did I lose him? God, why did this happen to us? Why do we deserve this?” Galit Gol shouts outside the family’s home in Elad, according to the Ynet news site.
“In one day my life ended. In one day everything turned upside down,” she adds.
Boaz Gol’s sister-in-law says he was walking to a Torah lesson when he was killed.
“His daughters, may they be healthy, said they can’t be without him. His wife also… I told the girls that dad went to get the messiah. I believe wholeheartedly he went to get the messiah,” Rozie Levy tells the news site.
IDF issues demolition order of terrorist who killed 3 in Tel Aviv
The Israel Defense Forces says it has issued an order to demolish the apartment of Ra’ad Hazem, the terrorist who killed three people in Tel Aviv last month.
The other residents of the building in the West Bank city of Jenin can appeal the order. However, such appeals rarely succeed.
Elad terrorists reportedly entered Israel through breach in security barrier
The Palestinian terrorists who carried out the deadly attack in Elad entered Israel illegally through a breach in the West Bank security barrier, Hebrew media reports say.
According to the reports, the two are believed to have been familiar with the central Israeli city and may have worked there.
Widow of Elad terror victim says he fought attacker, allowing others to escape
The widow of a man killed in the Elad attack says her husband fought the terrorist, allowing many people to escape including their 6-year-old son.
“My heart refuses to believe that I was left alone with five orphans. My heart burns that my tender child saw his father in his last moments,” writes Limor Havakuk, whose husband Yonatan was one of three men killed yesterday.
“My husband fought against them with great heroism and saved many lives. He fought with them for long minutes, which allowed many to flee the scene,” she writes in a post in a Facebook group for residents of Elad.
“God bless you, dear and beloved husband. We will miss you very much,” she concludes.
The victims of the axe and knife attack were named earlier as Havakuk, Boaz Gol and Oren Ben Yiftah — all young fathers who between them leave behind 16 children.
The men were slain in the attack that came at the end of Israel’s Independence Day. According to eyewitnesses, two terrorists attacked several people with an axe and a knife at a central park and a nearby road in the largely ultra-Orthodox city.
Herzog: Elad terror victims killed ‘in unfathomable cruelty by vile terrorists’
President Isaac Herzog expresses his condolences to the families of the three people killed in last night’s deadly terror attack in Elad.
“Three fathers were murdered last night in unfathomable cruelty by vile terrorists,” he says.
Man wounded in deadly Elad attack remains in critical but stable condition
A third person seriously wounded in the deadly Elad terror attack remains in critical condition following “deep axe wounds” to his head. He is stable but unconscious.
The 20-year-old male is being treated at Sheba Medical Center’s emergency neurosurgery department.
Knesset panel chief says Hamas will pay the price for incitement to terror
The Knesset defense panel chief says that Hamas will pay the price for its incitement to terror in the wake of the deadly attack in Elad.
“Hamas calls on people to carry out terrorist attacks and gives them instructions. They need to understand that they need to stop this, and we will exact a price for incitement,” Yesh Atid MK Ram Ben-Barak tells Army Radio. “What exactly is being done? It has not yet been decided.”
Ben-Barak is a former deputy head of Mossad who serves as the head of the Knesset’s powerful Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.
While the perpetrators of last night’s attack in which three people were killed are not thought to be affiliated with any terror group, Hamas said it was “a heroic operation” in response to Jewish Israelis visiting the Temple Mount holy site earlier yesterday.
In a speech last Saturday, Hamas’s Gaza chief Yahya Sinwar threatened violent consequences should Israelis continue visiting the site.
He also urged Palestinians to strike Israelis with whatever they had — including axes. “Let everyone who has a rifle, ready it. And if you don’t have a rifle, ready your cleaver or an ax, or a knife,” Sinwar said.
2 seriously wounded in Elad terror attack still fighting for their lives
Two people seriously wounded in the deadly terror attack last night in Elad are still fighting for their lives, the hospital where they are being treated says.
According to Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva, the two are in serious and unstable condition, and not yet out of the woods.
Schools to open as scheduled in Elad after deadly terror attack
The Elad Municipality announces that schools will open in the central city as scheduled following the deadly terror attack there.
The municipality says security measures will be boosted throughout the city.
Deputy minister: Hamas incitement ‘cannot go unanswered’
Deputy Economy Minister Yair Golan says Israel must consider “tough steps” against Gaza’s Hamas rulers following the deadly terror attack in Elad last night.
“The incitement cannot go unanswered,” he told Army Radio.
Hamas praised the attack in Elad, which left three dead, but did not claim responsibility. Yahya Sinwar, the Hamas leader in Gaza, called last weekend for Palestinians to attack Israelis with any weapon at their disposal, including axes.
Police identify Elad terror suspects as two men from Jenin
Police on Friday identify the suspects in the deadly terror attack in Elad as two youths from the West Bank city of Jenin.
Police say that they believe that As’ad Yousef As’ad al-Rifa’i , 19, and Subhi Emad Subhi Abu Shqeir, 20, both from Jenin are the two terrorists who carried out the attack in Elad.
Police call on the public to provide any information as to the whereabouts of the two men.
Security forces launched a massive manhunt for the attackers after they killed three people and wounded seven others in the Independence Day attack in the largely ultra-Orthodox town of Elad.
המשטרה בשת"פ השב"כ ויחידות מיוחדות נוספות,ממשיכים במצוד אחר המחבלים שביצעו את הרצח באלעד זהותם ידועה .
2 החשודים המרכזיים בביצוע הפיגוע באלעד, אשר נמלטו מהזירה הם:
אסעד יוסף אסעד אלרפאעי, בן 19 .
צבחי עמאד צבחי אבו שקיר, בן 20.
השניים תושבי הכפר רומאנה שבמחוז ג’נין. pic.twitter.com/UIwfDuFiVu
— כרמלה מנשה (@ela1949) May 6, 2022
Witnesses say they attacked their victims with an ax and a knife before fleeing.
Witness says he fought off terrorists by throwing hot cholent on them
A witness to the terror attack in the ultra-Orthodox town of Elad says he and a friend fought off the terrorists by throwing hot cholent, a traditional Sabbath stew, on them
“I was sitting in the car with my friend and we were eating cholent,” the man, who identified himself as Dovid, tells the Hebrew-language ultra-Orthodox website BeHadrei Hadarim.
“The terrorists, carrying huge axes, came on both sides of the car. My friend threw his boiling hot cholent on one of the terrorists and he got burned and stopped. In the meantime, I grabbed the end of his ax and managed to push him away,” he says.
“He flew back three steps. And then the second terrorist tried to hit my friend again but my friend pushed him back and they fled,” he says.
“Praise God we were saved. The terrorists saw that we were fighting back and they fled,” Dovid says.
Cholent is a slow-cooked stew of beans and meat that is traditionally eaten on the Jewish Sabbath and is also a popular Thursday night meal in some sections of the ultra-Orthodox community.
Three people were killed and several others seriously wounded in the attack on Israel’s Independence Day.
Security forces are searching for the terrorists.
Blinken ‘vehemently’ condemns ‘heinous’ terrorist attack in Elad
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken ‘vehemently’ condemns the terror attack in Elad that killed three Israelis and wounded several others.
“This was a horrific attack targeting innocent men and women, and was particularly heinous coming as Israel celebrated its Independence Day,” Blinken says in a statement.
Blinken reiterates that the US stands firmly with Israel.
Third victim of Elad attack named as Oren Ben Yiftah, 37, father of 6
The third victim of the Elad attack is named as Oren Ben Yiftah, a 37-year-old father of 6.
Ben Yiftah was a resident of the central town of Lod, according to mayor Yair Revivo.
“Our hearts break into tiny pieces,” Revivo writes on Facebook, saying “a great tragedy has hit Lod tonight.”
“We are accompanying the family at this most difficult time. May God swiftly avenge his death.”
Second victim of Elad attack named as Boaz Gol, father of 5
The second victim of the deadly terror attack in Elad is named as Boaz Gol.
Gol, in his 40’s, was a father of five.
Three people were killed and several seriously wounded in the attack on Israel’s Independence Day.
Terror vicitm Yonatan Havakuk remembered as man who ‘always had a smile on his face’
Neighbors and friends describe Yonatan Havakuk, one of the three people killed in the deadly attack in Elad, as a man who always had a smile on his face.
Havakuk, a father of five, worked as a car mechanic in the ultra-Orthodox town.
“He was a wonderful person,” local resident Yaakov Bar Noi tells the Haaretz website, describing how he was known to all as “our brother,” because of his habit of addressing everyone as “our brother.”
“He always had a smile on his face,” Bar Noi said, recounting that Havakuk would sometimes fix people’s vehicles for free if they had financial difficulties.
Havakuk’s neighbor, Amir Mizrahi, told the Walla news site that he was killed when he went outside to search for his son.
Mizrahi also described him as someone who “always had a smile on his face” and “the most special person you could ever meet.
First fatality in Elad attack named as Yonatan Havakuk
The first fatality in the Elad terror attack is named as Yonatan Havakuk.
Some reports say Havakuk had 10 children, others say five. No other details are immediately available.
The other two fatalities have not yet been named.
הותר לפרסום שמו של אחד ההרוגים בפיגוע הרצחני באלעד: יונתן חבקוק. ”איש שהחיוך מעולם לא סר מפניו” סיפרו תושבים בעיר.
יהי זכרו ברוך pic.twitter.com/nyl82Xsyk6
— סרוגים (@SrugimNews) May 5, 2022
Palestinian President Abbas condemns Elad terror attack
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas condemns the terror attack in Elad that left three Israelis dead, the official PA WAFA news agency reports.
“The killing of Palestinian and Israeli civilians only leads to a further deterioration of the situation at a time when we all strive to achieve stability and prevent escalation,” Abbas says.
Abbas has been outspoken in his opposition to violent resistance against Israel, but rarely denounces specific acts of terror. But the PA leader has condemned three of the deadliest killing sprees in the recent terror wave.
Abbas also references recent tensions at the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque holy site. The mosque, the third holiest place in Islam, lies on the Temple Mount, Judaism’s most sacred site.
The PA leader condemns “the continuous attacks against our people and their Islamic and Christian holy sites which have created an atmosphere of tension and instability.”
Bennett: ‘Their goal is to break our spirit. They will fail’
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett holds a situational assessment with Defense Minister Benny Gantz, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, police chief Kobe Shabtai, Public Security Minister Omer Barlev, IDF chief Aviv Kohavi, the head of the Mossad and the head of the Shin Bet.
The assessment covers the terror attack in Elad and the search for the attackers.
The security officials plan the upcoming response by the military and police.
“Our enemies have set out on a campaign of murder against Jews,” Bennett says. “Their goal is to break our spirit, and they will fail.
“We’ll put our hands on the terrorists and their collaborators, and they will pay the price. I send my condolences from the depth of my heart to the families of the murdered,” Bennett says.
Elad resident blasts Ben Gvir for ‘incitement’ following deadly attack
A resident of Elad, Shlomo Linder, blasts the extremist right-wing lawmaker Itamar Ben Gvir after the terror attack in the city.
“The ultra-Orthodox were never on the extreme right-wing,” Linder says.
“Someone came from the settlement movement, inciting the youth here,” he says, referring to Ben Gvir stoking tensions within Israel, and between Jews and Arabs.
“The ultra-Orthodox do not believe in killing brothers. We don’t believe in things like that, and do not believe in killing Arabs.”
“Ben Gvir should go to where he lives. Not here in Elad to incite our youth,” he says. “The Haredi mainstream is against fascism. We don’t call for murder.”
The majority of Elad’s 50,000 residents are ultra-Orthodox.
In March, a Palestinian terrorist killed five people in the majority ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak.
הפיגוע באלעד | תושב העיר, שלמה לינדר, בביקורת על ח"כ בן גביר: "חווינו טרגדיה קשה. החרדים מעולם לא היו בימין הקיצוני, ומגיע בן אדם להתסיס את הציבור. העדה החרדית לא מאמינה בלרצוח אחים ולא ברצח ערבים"@YoavBorowitz pic.twitter.com/6orvdd8w9B
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) May 5, 2022
West Bank and Gaza closure extended until Sunday
Following the deadly Elad attack, Israeli security officials extend the closure on West Bank and Gaza Palestinians until Sunday, the Defense Ministry says.
The decision came during a snap meeting of Israeli security chiefs to discuss responses to the terror attack, which has left three Israelis dead so far. Two others are in critical condition.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz vowed that the defense establishment “would exact a price for the terror attacks and the incitement,” without providing details.
The closure was put in place on Tuesday afternoon, ahead of Memorial Day and Independence Day, and was supposed to end overnight Thursday-Friday.
Sheba hospital neurosurgeon says attack victim admitted with ‘severe head injury’
Dr. Tzion Zibli, head of neurosurgery at Sheba Medical Center, said that a 20-year old man injured in the Elad attack has been admitted to his department.
The victim is fighting for his life, has a “severe head injury” and is en-route to surgery.
Early reports said the two suspected attackers used a firearm and an ax, but medics have said that all of the injuries appear to have been caused by a sharp weapon, and not by gunfire.
Another patient is in critical condition at Beilinson Medical Center in Petah Tikva.
Bennett to hold situational assessment following Elad attack
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is receiving constant updates and will hold a situational assessment with Israeli security chiefs in the coming hour, his office says.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz and IDF chief Aviv Kohavi have held a situational assessment following the attack, which killed three in Elad.
Bennett has not yet commented publicly on the attack.
Security forces search for suspects in forested area at city’s edge
Security forces are searching areas in and around the city of Elad for two suspected attackers following a deadly attack in the city earlier tonight.
Footage filmed by Elad residents shows large police forces scanning a forested area close to the city’s perimeter.
Police say they are searching for two suspects, and the “working hypothesis” is that the attackers are Palestinians from the West Bank.
UN envoy ‘appalled’ by Elad terror attack, blasts Hamas for praising violence
Tor Wennesland, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, condemns the deadly terror attack in Elad and blasts Palestinian terror groups for applauding the attack.
“Appalled by this evening’s terror attack in central Israel in which three Israelis were killed, and several others injured. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims and I wish a speedy recovery to the wounded,” Wennesland says in a statement.
“It is deplorable that Hamas and others continue to glorify and encourage such attacks, which undermine the possibility of a peaceful future for both Palestinians and Israelis. All must condemn violence and stand up to terror,” he says.
US ambassador to Israel: Terror attacks must stop
United States Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides calls the terror attack in Elad “a heartbreaking end” to the celebrations of Israel’s Independence Day.
“I share the grief of families of those murdered in the terrorist attack & wish speedy recovery to the wounded. This must STOP!” Nides writes on Twitter.
Heartbreaking end to Yom HaAtzmaut in Elad. I share the grief of families of those murdered in the terrorist attack & wish speedy recovery to the wounded. This must STOP!
— Ambassador Tom Nides (@USAmbIsrael) May 5, 2022
Police say Elad terrorists likely from West Bank
Police officials say their “working hypothesis” is that the terrorists who killed 3 and wounded several others in Elad are Palestinians from the West Bank.
The two suspects have not yet been apprehended or identified.
West Bank Palestinians have carried out a string of deadly attacks in recent months in Israel and the West Bank, and Arab Israelis carried out at least two attacks within Israel.
Lapid: ‘The joy of Independence day cut short in an instant’
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid responds to the Elad terror attack, which took place at the end of Independence Day, in the first public response from a senior leader in the coalition.
“The joy of Independence Day is cut short in an instant,” Lapid says.
“The murderous terror attack in Elad is terrifying to the heart and soul. Three murdered and another three wounded by lowly terrorists. I send condolences from the depth of my heart to the families that lost a loved one this evening, and pray with all of Israel for the safety of the injured.”
“We will not submit to terror. We will not let terrorists scare us. The security forces will catch the murderers and stand them on trial. We will continue to fight together for our independence and the safety of Israeli citizens.”
Defense minister, IDF chief hold assessment after attack
Defense Minister Benny Gantz and IDF chief Aviv Kohavi hold a situational assessment following the attack in Elad, Gantz’s office says.
Terror groups praise Elad attack, but don’t take responsibility
Palestinian terror groups praise the terror attack that has left at least three Israelis dead and others wounded in the central city of Elad, although none immediately take responsibility.
The Hamas terror group calls the attack “a heroic operation,” saying it comes in response to Jewish Israelis visiting the Temple Mount holy site earlier today.
“Our people will continue their struggle and their defense of the Al-Aqsa Mosque with every means. Their blows will strike the Zionists and the settlers wherever they are,” says Hamas spokesperson Abd al-Latif al-Qanou.
In a recent speech, Hamas’s Gaza chief Yahya Sinwar threatened violent consequences should Israelis continue visiting the site. He also called on West Bank Palestinians to commit individual attacks against Israelis.
“This is the practical implementation of what the resistance warned: Al-Aqsa is a red line,” Hamas official Hazem Qasim says.
Islamic Jihad also praises the deadly attack as a “heroic operation.”
“For settler gangs to defile Al-Aqsa — this crosses red lines,” says senior terror group member Mohammad Hmeid.
Witness: ‘I heard screams: ‘Medic! medic!’
A witness to the attacks in Elad says he heard screaming while driving home from a store.
“I was in my car and suddenly I heard screams of ‘medic, medic!’” Netanel Birnbaum tells Channel 12.
“I stopped right away. There was a medic with me who just ran to the area and started doing resuscitation to a person.”
Police put up roadblocks in search for suspects
Police say they launched a manhunt for the two suspects in the Elad attack, blocking off several roads in the area.
In a statement, police say a helicopter is being used to search for a vehicle that fled the scene.
Hamas applauds terror attack in Elad
The Hamas terror group applauds the deadly terror attack in Elad.
“The terror attack in Elad is a response to our people’s rage over the occupation’s attack on our holy sites,” Hamas says.
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