At the vigil in Neve Yaakov, people are calling for revenge after the most serious attack on Israelis by a Palestinian since 2008.
Three emergency response volunteers wearing plastic gloves and high visibility vests picked up handfuls of blood-stained dirt and put it in a bag as they looked through construction debris at the traffic intersection in occupied East Jerusalem where a Palestinian gunman killed seven Israelis on Friday night. Where the shooting happened at the intersection.
They got there after sundown on Saturday, which was the end of Shabbat. They brought with them torches, trowels, and putty knives. Their job was to make sure that every drop of blood that was spilled was collected so that it could be buried in a Jewish way.
Ultra-Orthodox people in the area watched from a distance as the men worked under the flashing red lights of police and ambulance sirens. “Death to terrorism” could be heard being chanted, prayed, and sung by some people. A group of young people got together to light candles in the shape of a menorah as a memorial.
On Friday night, a 21-year-old Palestinian man named Alqam Khayri drove to Neve Yaakov, a Jewish settlement on the edge of the Palestinian side of the holy city, and started shooting at people walking by a busy synagogue. He then ran away, and when he tried to run away, the police shot and killed him. His victims were a 14-year-old boy, a 68-year-old Ukrainian woman, and a married couple in their 40s who had run to help when they heard gunshots and screams. One of the people he killed was a 14-year-old boy. At this time, the hospital is still taking care of three more people.
“He was a good man and he was brave. It’s an awful day,” Kenan said.
The attack was the deadliest one by a Palestinian on Israelis since 2008. It happened in the middle of a week of increasing violence that has killed 20 people, both Palestinians, and Israelis.
Many Israelis thought of the second Palestinian uprising, also called the second intifada, when they saw the scary picture in Neve Yaakov. In the 2000s, about 1,000 Israelis and 3,500 Palestinians died because of the second intifada. Because of this, people are more worried that a wave of violence that has been going on for almost a year in the north of the occupied West Bank is about to spread to other places.
“As soon as we heard there had been an attack, we went straight there, but Eli wasn’t there. Merav Kenan, a friend of Eli Mizrahi who was shot while trying to calm the gunman, said, “We didn’t find out he died until very late at night at the hospital.” Mizrahi got hurt when he tried to stop the attacker. Natali, Mizrahi’s wife, was giving CPR to her husband when she was shot in the back. She later died in the hospital.
“He was brave and kind at the same time. It’s a bad day,” Kenan added.
Khayri is thought to have done the attack on his own, but the fact that he was so good with a gun has led investigators to think that he had gun training. No Palestinian group has taken credit for the attack, and it is thought that Khayri did it all by himself.
The East Jerusalemite, who, like most Palestinians in the city, had an Israeli residency permit but not citizenship rights, was named after his grandfather, who was killed by an Israeli settler in 1998, according to reports in Hebrew and Arabic media. He didn’t have a history of breaking security rules, and no one knows why he did what he did. However, he was named after his grandfather. He had never broken security rules before, and no one knows what made him do it.
Itamar Ben-Gvir, an attorney, defended one of the suspects in the case, but his client was never charged with any crime. Ben-Gvir, an extreme right-winger, has been Israel’s Minister of National Security since the beginning of this month. This makes him an important cabinet member in the most conservative government the country has ever had.
As a direct response to the attack on Friday and the shooting on Saturday that hurt two people, the new government has already promised to take several harsh measures against Palestinians. Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has said that he will go after the families of terrorists and propose plans this week to “strengthen settlements.” Both of these things are against international law, and Netanyahu has said that he will go after them.
But it is very unlikely that these steps will be enough to satisfy the people on the right in Israel, who are Netanyahu’s main supporters. On Saturday night, the sadness in Neve Yaakov was mixed with anger. At the memorial, young men called for the invasion of Arab neighborhoods, and teenagers who were there attacked journalists from Israel’s Channel 13 and chanted “leftists go home.” Based on what has happened in the past, both sides are likely to use “copycat” and “price tag” attacks.
“When we first heard it, we thought it was gunfire at an Islamic wedding. This is something that people in the neighborhoods around here say quite often. Then we decided it was easier,” said Berta, a 45-year-old woman who lives in the same apartment building as the Mizrahis.
“I saw something similar to this 30 years ago, but I never in a million years thought it would happen again.” “I guess that’s just the way things have always been done,” she said. Anyone who wants to live here must learn to deal with the fact that there is never a quiet moment.