(December 11, 2018 / JNS) Medical staff at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem were still battling on Tuesday to save the life of a baby delivered by Cesarean section after his mother, Shira Ish-Ran, was shot in her upper body in a terrorist attack near the settlement of Ofra on Sunday.
Six other Israelis were wounded in the attack, including Ish-Ran’s husband, Amichai. She was 30 weeks pregnant.
As of Tuesday morning, the baby was still in very serious condition. Ish-Ran’s father, Chaim Silberstein, told Israeli media on Tuesday morning that while his daughter’s condition was improving, her hemoglobin levels had dropped. Silberstein said this could indicate that there was still some bleeding and hoped that it was not serious.
The hospital reported Tuesday that Shira was awake and communicating.
Silberstein said his daughter had not yet been informed of her newborn son’s precarious condition.
Dr. Alon Schwartz, a senior trauma surgeon at the hospital, said Monday that the medical team was concerned that the baby had sustained neurological damage as a result of the shooting. “The baby is in critical condition in the neonatal intensive-care unit. He is on a ventilator, and his blood pressure is being regulated by medication. We’re still fighting for his life,” said Schwartz.
Silberstein said his daughter teared up when she first saw her parents.
“We were so excited we had to leave [the room] because her heart rate spiked,” he said.
“There’s nothing like seeing your daughter open her eyes and talking through them because her mouth is blocked with a tube. We are praying for her and for the baby, along with everyone in Israel. They need a lot of prayers. A miracle happened and our son-in-law, Amichai, who was hit by three bullets, is in relatively good condition,” said Silberstein.
Liora Silberstein, Shira’s mother, said “I gave her my hand. I sang to her, and tears ran down her face. We need to tell the government that it is unconscionable that innocent children are standing there being shot at.”
Rafael Ish-Ran, Shira’s father-in-law, said, “Amichai and Shira were with us at home and needed to get to [the settlement of] Elon Moreh, so they had to hitchhike. The terrorists approached, slowed down and fired. They saw a pregnant woman and said, ‘Great, we should get her,’ and fired. Amichai saw Shira lying on the ground, bleeding badly, and stopped the bleeding with his hands until help arrived. The Lord has worked a wonder and a miracle for us.”
Shira’s sisters, twins Esther and Eliana, are asking everyone to pray for her.
“We’re seven brothers and sisters,” they said. “Shira is the oldest, and she has a twin brother. The baby is our family’s first grandchild. Our faith is stronger after this incident because a miracle occurred, and we hope and believe that our sister will make a full recovery.”
Shira and Amichai Ish-Ran married eight months ago and moved to Elon Moreh. Shira is studying education at Orot Israel College in Elkana, and Amichai is a yeshivah student in Elon Moreh.
On Monday, Meirav Sharvit, 17, and Chen Antebi, 16, who were lightly wounded in the shooting, recounted the terrifying moments of the attack.
“At first, I was sure it was firecrackers. People got down on the ground, crawled, hid. Chen and I crawled behind the hitchhiking post and hid there until the rescue teams arrived. There were rounds being fired and people were screaming. People shouted, ‘Shots! Shots! And then I realized it was a terrorist attack. Our goal is to contain terrorism, not run away. I’m not supposed to be afraid,” said Sharvit.
Antebi said “I saw Shira, who was badly wounded, bleeding on the ground. I was talking with her just before the attack. I saw a car that fired shots, and suddenly everything was covered in blood. I was hit in the chest by shrapnel, and it’s a miracle I survived. Obviously, I’ll keep hitchhiking after I recover.”
GOC Central Command Maj. Gen. Nadav Padan arrived at the hospital on Monday and briefed the families on the steps that the Israel Defense Forces was taking to apprehend the terrorists who carried out the attack.
As of Tuesday, the two suspected assailants were still at large.
‘This is monstrous’
Officials were quick to condemn the attack. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the start of a Likud faction meeting that “abhorrent terrorists tried to murder a mother and the baby in her womb. This is monstrous.”
“I think it is too much to expect a condemnation from the Palestinian Authority,” he continued. “They only contribute to incitement here. Our security forces are pursuing the murderers. They will capture them. We will prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law and settle the score with them.”
Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said “we will pursue, apprehend and make these despicable terrorists pay. Terrorists who shot at innocent men, boys and a pregnant woman.”
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked called on Netanyahu to take action to regulate the status of the settlement of Ofra.
“Every terrorist attack should strengthen settlement rather than weaken it,” said Shaked, “and every potential terrorist should know ahead of time that he will be responsible for strengthening settlements.”