Israel Terror Attack: Hebron Celebrates

At about 10 p.m. Israel time this evening (3 p.m. EST), a terror attack shattered the sounds of music and laughter in Tel Aviv, Israel’s entertainment capital. Two Palestinian Arabs from the Hebron region, dressed like Ultra-Orthodox Jews, pulled weapons from their bags and shot in all directions. According to the latest reports, four people are dead and over 10 were injured.

CCTV security footage captured the Israel terror attack and was released about two hours after the shootings.

Responses from some Palestinian Arabs were supportive of the terror attack in Israel. Ismail Haniyeh, senior political leader of Hamas, praised the terrorists.

Following news of the attack, Palestinian Arabs generally celebrate, handing out sweets to pedestrians and drivers in the streets. This latest attack in Israel was no different. In Muslim culture, sweets are handed out to celebrate happy events, generally weddings.

A cartoon commemorating the Israel terror attack this evening has already appeared in social media. The cartoon depicts a bullet inside an Arab sweet, representing the idea that the attack is a special Ramadan holiday treat. The Muslim Ramadan holiday began on June 6 and continues until July 7. During this holiday, Muslims do not eat or drink anything from sunrise to sunset. They hold special feasts after sunset to signify the goodness of life in the hereafter.

ISIS threatened to commit terror attacks during the holy month of Ramadan. This latest attack in Israel may be part of that.

According to the Times of Israel, the two terrorists, cousins aged 21 from the Hebron region of Judea and Samaria (today referred to as the West Bank), sat down at the Max Brenner restaurant and ordered dessert. They were dressed up as Ultra-Orthodox Jews. Waiters and diners may potentially have suspected something amiss, given that the restaurant is not Kosher and religious Jews would not be expected to dine there. However, Tel Aviv is a tolerant city and people generally mind their own business.

Shortly after ordering brownies, the two terrorists pulled their weapons from their bags and began shooting. A waiter at the restaurant, Yousef Gabarin from the Arab town of Um-el-Fahm in northern Israel, told the Times of Israel that he believed about 15 minutes had passed from the time the terrorists entered the restaurant until they began shooting.

The international news outlets did not initially report the shooting as a terror attack. There was even some confusion regarding the identity of the terrorists. RT initially identified the terrorists as religious Jews.

After more details became available, they corrected their headlines to read, “2 Palestinians Dressed as Orthodox Jews Kill 4 In Tel Aviv.”

Israelis have complained in the past about what seems to have been unbalanced reporting of terror attacks in Israel in contrast with reporting of terror attacks in other places, such as Paris and Brussels. Whereas terrorists are identified as terrorists in the headlines when the attacks have occurred in Europe, when the victims were Israelis, they would often be referred to as militants or just Palestinians. This time, international news outlets seem to have achieved greater balance. The Australian Herald Sun published the headline “Terrorists Target Open-Air Market in Israel.” On the other hand, the Canadian CBC world news site headline refers to the terrorists merely as gunmen, reserving the word “terrorists” for the subtitle. The headline on Fox News does not suggest that the shooting was a terror attack, “At Least 4 Dead In Shooting Attack in Tel Aviv.”

The Times of Israel reported that the two terrorists ran from the restaurant after a few moments. Both were arrested by police, one after having been shot. He is now being treated in Ichilov Hospital alongside his victims.

[Photo by Sebastian Scheiner/AP Photos]

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