Terror Attack in Israel: JFedOC Statement

We mourn, with Jewish Federations of North America and our global Jewish community, the seven victims of a horrific terror attack on Friday night at a synagogue in Jerusalem: 14-year-old Asher Natan, married couple Eli and Natalie Mizrahi, 56-year-old Rephael Ben Eliyahu, 68-year-old Shaul Hai, Ukrainian citizen Irina Korolova and 26-year-old Ilya Sosansky. May their memories be a blessing. Many more were injured and are hospitalized. We share our strength and hopes for their full recovery.

This heinous crime, on the 78th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, was the most deadly in a series of terror attacks that took place in Israel over the weekend. On Saturday morning, near the Old City of Jerusalem, a 13-year-old Palestinian with a handgun shot and injured an Israeli father and son on their way home from synagogue services. On Saturday night, a third attack was thwarted in the town of Kedumim, when security forces stopped an armed terrorist infiltrator.

This morning, we were informed by our Jewish Federations of North America Chair, Julie Platt, that “following the weekend attacks, the Jewish Federation-sponsored Fund for Victims of Terror, a program of our global partner The Jewish Agency for Israel, immediately began to work alongside Israeli authorities to offer immediate, urgently needed assistance to victims and their families. The Fund is also in contact with the Embassy of Ukraine in Israel, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in order to provide assistance to the family of the murdered Ukrainian citizen who was working in Israel as a caregiver. In addition, those injured in the attacks will receive emergency assistance from the Fund in the coming hours.

“This latest wave of terror follows increasing tensions in Israel. The morning before the synagogue attack, an Israeli army raid in the West Bank city of Jenin against a terrorist cell left nine Palestinians dead — most of them gunmen and members of the cell, though at least one civilian was also killed. The Israel Defense Forces said that the operation was aimed at stopping imminent attack plans by a local Islamic Jihad terror cell. The group had prepared explosives and firearms, according to the IDF.  Recent months have seen a regular pattern involving Israeli security raids to arrest wanted terrorists in Palestinian towns. As occurred in Jenin on Thursday, suspects frequently choose resistance and firefights with the IDF rather than surrender. This has led to almost daily attempts at “retaliatory” terror attacks against Israeli security forces and civilians, although very high levels of vigilance and protective measures had, until now, effectively prevented Israeli deaths.”

We stand with Israel in grief, in support, and in solidarity.