Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Siren Recalls Terror Attacks at Gush Etzion Junction

I was delivering boxes to the Pina Chama (Soldiers Hospitality Tent) in anticipation for tomorrow Yom HaAtzmaut (Israeli Independence Day) Barbecue for the soldiers. (You can still donate to this great day for our IDF soldiers.  :)  - ). Suddenly I realized it was five minutes to 11 AM, the time when the siren is sounded throughout Israel to stop and remember those fallen IDF soldiers and victims of Arab terror since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.
In general, Yom HaZikaron (Memorial Day) has a special meaning to residents of Gush Etzion and their families. It is also the day that we remember the fall of Gush Etzion in 1948 on the day before Israel’s Independence. Valiant as its defenders were, try as they might, the pre-State residents of Gush Etzion were removed from the area (mothers and children), sent into captivity in Jordan, or murdered by vicious Arab Legionnaires.  
Today as the siren sounded, I was surprised to see dozens of young people standing in the middle of the Gush Etzion Junction. I asked one of the Pina Chama volunteers if she knew why.
She explained that many Arab terror attacks against Jews and assault attempts against both soldier and civilian have happened at the Gush Etzion Junction (a hitchhiker’s site). These young people are remembering their friends and family who were killed or injured here.
Here are some of those attacks and their victims, HY"D, (gleaned from the media – please excuse me for all those incidents that I inadvertently excluded):
On Oct 16, 2005 - Matat (Rosenfeld) Adler, 21, and her cousin, Kineret Mandel, 23, both of Carmel, and Oz Ben-Meir, 15, of Maon were killed and three were wounded when Arabs opened fire at the Gush Etzion junction south of Jerusalem. (Another teenager was shot and seriously wounded at the same time near Eli, in Samaria.) The Fatah Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades claimed responsibility for both attacks.
In January 2006 – an Arab man stabbed a 25 year-old Israeli man and a 17 year old girl. They sustained moderate injuries. The attacker was shot and injured by an off-duty police officer.
In March 2006 – soldiers caught an Arab armed with a knife at the trempiada (hitching post) at Tzomet HaGush.
In December 2009 - an Arab stabbed a Jewish woman in the back.
On November 25, 2010 – an Arab attempted to stab Jewish hitchhikers at the Junction. He was arrested by the IDF.
In January 2011 – Shots were fired from the thicket near the Junction. B”H, no one was injured.
On October 19, 2011 - just one day after 477 terrorists were exchanged for Gilad Shalit, a female Arab terrorist tried to stab an Israeli at the Gush Etzion junction.
Next time you drive past the Gush Etzion Junction, remember those who lost their lives there, and thank Hashem for those whom He saved.
Kol hakavod to the young people who respectfully stood at the Junction through the siren, even as Arab cars and trucks zoomed by.
How dismaying that in so many places around the country, traffic comes to a dignified halt for two minutes on Memorial Day, but at the Gush Etzion Junction…business as usual. Perhaps next year, police can stop the traffic for two minutes in front of the Pina Chama at the Gush Etzion Junction in order to show respect for Israel’s fallen soldiers and civilians.
For a peek at the Gush Etzion Junction during the siren:

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