American among 5 killed by Palestinian terror attacks in Gush Etzion, Tel Aviv

Magen David Adom responds to Thursday's fatal stabbing attack in Tel Aviv. Credit: Twitter.

( Three people were killed and others were wounded in a Palestinian shooting and car-ramming terror attack on Thursday in Gush Etzion, just a few hours after a stabbing attack killed two Israelis in Tel Aviv during a Jewish prayer service. The victims in the Gush Etzion attack included an Israeli man in his 50s, an 18-year-old American yeshiva student, and a 40-year-old Palestinian (not the terrorist). 

A Palestinian motorist opened fire with a handheld machine gun on cars near the Jewish community of Alon Shvut. As he continued speeding towards the Gush Etzion Junction, he lost control of the vehicle and rammed into another car. The terrorist attempted to fire again, but Israeli security forces arrested him. Different media reports said that besides the three people killed in the attack, anywhere from four to seven Israelis were also wounded. The American Jew killed in the attack was identified as Ezra Schwartz of Sharon, Mass., who was in Israel for his gap year between high school and college.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent his condolences to the victims’ families and said that those who condemned the recent Paris attacks also “need to condemn the attacks in Israel. It’s the same terror. Whoever does not do this is a hypocrite and blind.”

Earlier Thursday, a Palestinian terrorist killed two Israeli Jews in a stabbing attack during afternoon prayers (mincha) on Thursday in Tel Aviv. The Shin Bet identified the attacker as a 36-year-old Palestinian from the village of Dura, near Hebron.

The prayer service was taking place in a Judaica store at the Panarama shopping center in south Tel Aviv. Eyewitness Shimon Vaknin told the Jerusalem Post that a man covered in blood fell on a number of worshippers shortly after prayers began, and that the 15-20 worshippers pushed the terrorist outside the store and barricaded the door while he shouted in Arabic and tried to re-enter. The terrorist later attempted to flee the scene, but was arrested and taken in for questioning. 

The five people killed by Thursday’s attacks bring the death toll wrought by the current wave of Palestinian terrorism—dubbed the “stabbing intifada”—to 19.

Posted on November 19, 2015 .