I was driving on “Derech Yerushalayim” (the main highway from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem) on my way to my office when my phone rang. It was my oldest daughter Sharon, “Dad, there is crazy man on a tractor running over people.” Sharon was working about a kilometer from where an East Jerusalem Arab turned his bulldozer into a weapon of terror. Hossam Dawyyat, a 30-year-old father of two, and a construction worker took his front loader and begin driving on Jaffa Street running over cars and slamming into buses, turning them on their side.One woman, a kindergarten teacher and mother of an infant, was about to be run over by the madman. “Seconds before being crushed to death by a 20-ton bulldozer, 33-year-old Batsheva Unterman succeeded in unbuckling her 5-month-old baby from the car-seat and passing her out through the window to safety.” (jpost.com) Jeremy Aronson, a passerby, saw the situation and grabbed the baby from her mother. The mother was dead moments later. It is important to note that she had tried for many years before she finally became pregnant.
In another incident, a mother threw her baby out of her car window just before the massive tractor smashed into her. “[This] young mother watched in horror as the vehicle charged straight at her vehicle and then instinctively threw her baby out the car
Only after 45 people were injured and three had been killed was the terrorist neutralized. Amazingly it turns out that the hero who risked his own life and shot the madman was the brother-in-law of the hero who shot the Yeshiva massacre terrorist several months ago. In that incident, an off duty Special Forces officer heard the gunfire from his home as he was bathing his children. He ran out of the house and into the Yeshiva, into harms way, found the terrorist and killed him. Then returned home to put his children to bed. Now, his brother-in-law is also a hero.
First an off duty police officer climbed onto the massive earth mover. It was nearly impossible to shot him from the ground as the cab is well protected and most likely had special gl ass to protect the operator. As the officer wrestled with the terrorist another young man, an off-duty soldier jumped on the tractor, took a gun from a security guard and then shot the killer at point blank range.
“This soldier, riding his bike in the face of a rampaging bulldozer, decided that he is going to stop the terrorist. The immediate decision to get on the bulldozer, empty handed, is what distinguishes a hero from any other person…” (Uri Orbach, ynetnews.com)
While the silver lining of heroism gives us moment to pause and be proud, the long term affects of living in a country where you know at anytime, in nearly anyplace, terror can happen, can weigh on our national soul. This attack, while close to my daughter’s place of employment, was even closer to my office—just two or three blocks. Veikko, one of our pastors and our media director took a video camera up in the top floor where we have our prayer tower and was able to get footage. That is how close it was.
Like the Yeshiva incident that left nearly a dozen young boys dead, this incident was carried out, not by a Palestinian but an East Jerusalem Arab. Arabs in East Jerusalem are citizens of Israel and have free movement throughout the country. While it is unlikely that our present government has the backbone to limit the movement of East Jerusalem Arabs, there will be calls from around the country to do so, in order to protect Israel’s Jewish citizens.
In the meantime, please continue to cry out to God for protection on this country. And not just physical, but that her eyes would be open to the One who truly loves her—Yeshua the Messiah.
Committed to the Messiah’s Mandate (Matt. 10:6-8),