Sunday, 3 Jul 2022 - 4 of Tammuz, 5782

The two Israelis murdered in Thursday’s terror attack : Eitam Megini, 27, and Tomer Morad, 28, went to Ilka bar together for some drinks.

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This is the fourth deadly terrorist attack in the last two weeks, in which 13 people have been killed. Earlier this week the IDF Chief of Staff revealed that at least ten terror attacks were prevented in the last two weeks thanks to preventative raids based on intelligence.

The two Israelis murdered in Thursday’s terror attack on Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv are Eitam Megini, 27, and Tomer Morad, 28, from Kfar Saba, who went to Ilka bar on Dizengoff Street together for some drinks. 15 people were also injured in the attack. Four of them are in serious to critical condition.

The two victims moved from Kfar Saba to live together as roommates in Tel Aviv, and Morad was employed at the bar where they were slain, The Jerusalem Post reported. The two friends were students at Tel Aviv University.

,Foreign Minister Yair Lapid posted not long after the publication of the names of the victims that Morad was a relative of one of his advisors.

A terrorist opened fire at pedestrians and patrons of the Ilka Bar, on Dizengoff Street in central Tel Aviv Thursday night and then managed to flee the scene. Following a massive over-night manhunt, the terrorist, a 28-year-old Palestinian who came from Jenin in the West Bank, was found in Jaffa where he was killed in a gunfight early Friday morning.

Commenting, Foereign Minister Yair Lapid said the “murderous terror struck in the heart of Tel Aviv. Young Israelis who never wronged anyone were murdered simply because they’re Israelis. This terror is the poisonous outcome of ongoing incitement by terrorist organisations driven by an ideology of hate. We will fight terror without compromise.”

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Friday  held a situation assessment with heads of the security establishment. He ordered the closing of the Gilboa (Jalameh) crossing until further notice in order to isolate the possibility of movement into and out of Jenin.

Palestinians across the West Bank and the Gaza Strip celebrated the attack, distributing sweets, holding celebratory processions, and singing praises in mosques.

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas issued a statement, which read: “I condemn the killing of two Israeli civilians last night in a shooting attack in Tel Aviv. Killing Palestinian and Israeli civilians will only lead to a deterioration of the situation while we all strive for stability, especially in the month of Ramadan and the upcoming Christian and Jewish holidays.”

This is the fourth deadly terrorist attack in the last two weeks, in which 13 people have been killed. Earlier this week the IDF Chief of Staff revealed that at least ten terror attacks were prevented in the last two weeks thanks to preventative raids based on intelligence.

Like the attack in Bnei Brak last week, the attacker came from Jenin, but with no known affiliation to a terrorist organisation. In anticipation of this wave of terror, the IDF deployed 13 battalions across the West Bank to prevent terrorist infiltrations. Almost half of those are stationed on the seam line to physically plug the holes where the fence has been breached.

The current assessment holds that Hamas prefers to encourage and support violence inside Israel and the West Bank, and is not currently looking to escalate the situation on the Gaza border.

This latest attack challenges Israel’s approach to keep the West Bank open during Ramadan, to allow Palestinian worshipers access to Jerusalem, and for Palestinians to visit family inside Israel.

If attacks persist, the military will likely impose a general closure of the West Bank, which is usually the case during major Jewish holidays.

Israel has made an effort to coordinate their policy with the Palestinian and Jordanian leadership, and earlier this week Defence Minister Gantz spoke with PA Chairman Abbas.

The security challenge is compounding the political crisis, that saw the government lose its majority earlier this week.

The police are on the highest alert across all sectors on the first Friday prayers of Ramadan.

The heightened state of alert is set to continue for some time, with IDF standing orders in place till after Israel’s Independence Day, which falls this year on May 5th. The IDF has deployed its forces in anticipation for the next two months.

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