Three month old Chaya Zisel Braun was run down and killed at the Silwan Light Rail Station in Jerusalem by a Hamas terrorist, 21 year-old Abdel Rahman Al-Shalodi. Eight other persons were injured in the crowd he ploughed into on the station platform. Ha’aretz reported:
According to witnesses, Al-Shalodi drove the car 14 meters on the tracks itself, hitting disembarking passengers and continuing on along the length of the track. He stopped after hitting a pole a few hundred meters down and then attempted to flee on foot, when he was shot, arrested, and hospitalized.
An eyewitness reported seeing the car hit the mother and baby and continue plowing through the crowd. “The stroller was shattered and the mother was screaming.”
The stroller flew into the air and the baby was found 10 meters away from the stroller.”
Hamas issued a statement calling Al-Shaludi’s murder of Chaya Zisel an “act of heroism”.
Al-Shaludi had served time in an Israeli prison on terrorist-related charges. Chaya Zisel parents and visiting grandparents from America, the Halperins, grieved for their loss. Shimon Halperin and his wife had just arrived in Israel on their first visit after their birth of their granddaughter to see Chaya Zisel. Instead they were rushed to Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus Chaya succumbed to her injuries and was laid to rest at a Jerusalem cemetery at midnight, Wednesday, October 22nd. Al -Shaludi’s mother, did not acknowledging her son’s murderous action. The Times of Israel reported 42 year old Inas Sharif saying “I feel [Chaya’s mother’s pain, I am a mother after all. I don’t wish for any mother in the world to lose her child.”
Biased media obfuscated what occurred on Wednesday at the Silwan Light Rail stop in Jerusalem located at the bottom of Ammunition Hill.
What passes for the leadership of the Palestinian Authority (PA) stoked the violence that broke out during the recent Sukkoth holiday. The AP had an initial headline, “ Israeli Police shoot man in East Jerusalem” and only after complaints about it being misleading changed it to read, “Palestinian Kills Baby at Jerusalem Station. “ The U.S. consulate in Jerusalem issued statement hours after the event calling it a “traffic incident”. When the news caught up at Foggy Bottom they called it an act of terrorism, but with the usual proviso of “all parties remaining calm.” Jen Psaki State Department Press Spokesperson made the following statement:
The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms today’s terrorist attack in Jerusalem. We express our deepest condolences to the family of the baby, reportedly an American citizen, who was killed in this despicable attack, and extend our prayers for a full recovery to those injured. We urge all sides to maintain calm and avoid escalating tensions in the wake of this incident.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said:
We must restore peace to Jerusalem – as I said for months, the situation in Jerusalem is intolerable and we must be acting unequivocally against the violence taking place in the city,
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu put the blame squarely on the PA leadership. He said:
This is how Abu Mazen’s partners in government act, the same Abu Mazen who – only a few days ago – incited a terrorist attack in Jerusalem.
Khaled Abu Toameh squarely put the blame for the eruption of violence in Jerusalem on PA President Abbas in a Gatestone Institute article, today, “Abbas’s Responsibility for Murder.” Toameh wrote:
To understand what drives a young Palestinian to carry out such a deadly attack, one need look at the statements of Palestinian Authority leaders during the past few weeks.
The anti-Israel campaign of incitement reached its peak with Abbas’s speech at the UN a few weeks ago, when he accused Israel of waging a “war of genocide” in the Gaza Strip. Abbas made no reference to Hamas’s crimes against both Israelis and Palestinians.
Whatever his motives, it is clear that the man who carried out the most recent attack, was influenced by the messages that Abbas and the Palestinian Authority leadership have been sending their people.
Toameh drew attention to the record of incitement perpetrated by Abbas and his cohorts like chief negotiator Saeb Erekat . They concocted the hate that led to Wednesday ‘s vehicular homicide by al-Shalodi. There was Abbas’ UN General Assembly speech in September accusing Israel of waging a “war of Genocide” in the 50-day war against terrorist group Hamas in Gaza. This from a man who ordered Palestinian security to cooperate with Israel during the rocket and terror tunnel conflict fomented by his partner in the unity government, Hamas. Abbas used the Sukkoth visits to the Kotel to inflame Palestinian. That resulted in Israeli police cordoning off the Al Aqsa Mosque preventing Palestinians from raining rocks and Molotov cocktails on the festival crowd of observant Jews below. Abbas railed about Jewish desecration of Islamic holy places. Abbas said:
We must prevent them from entering the Noble Sanctuary by all means. This is our Al-Aqsa. Al-Aqsa is a red line: Israel must be aware that the ongoing raids and attacks on Al-Aqsa will cause a volcanic explosion in the area that will reach Israel. Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the State of Palestine, and without it, there will be no state.
The flash point for al-Shalodi’s terrorist act was reports that Jewish “settlers” were buying buildings in the Silwan section in Jerusalem. The National , published in the UAE had a report that vaulted to world coverage when it popped up on Yahoo News, “By hook or by crook, settlers rack up gains in East Jerusalem.” The report looks suspiciously like hate filled PA agit-propaganda , tantamount to throwing oil on the fire of the “silent Intifada”.
By fair means or foul, Jewish settlers are notching up property gains in the heart of Arab east Jerusalem through a series of shady deals involving front men or straw companies.
The process by which such properties are acquired is shrouded in mystery, with the new Jewish occupants often moving in under the cover of darkness to avoid confrontation with residents.
The latest controversial acquisitions took place in Silwan, a densely populated Palestinian neighborhood on a steep hillside flanking the southern walls of Jerusalem’s Old City.
In the past three weeks, hardline settlers have moved into 35 apartments there, sparking anger and consternation among Palestinians who vehemently oppose such moves as a hostile attempt to Judaise Silwan.
Some were allegedly acquired fraudulently, and others legally.
Jewish groups buying up property in the heart of Arab neighborhoods is an explosive political issue because it touches on the future of east Jerusalem, which the Palestinians want as capital of a future state.
The reality is that Jerusalem is Israel’s eternal and undivided capital. East Jerusalem was formally annexed by the Knesset on June 28, 1967, reunified following the Six Day War.. Earlier this month we posted on the Iconoclast:
The President and State Department condemned Netanyahu’s announcement of 2,610 apartments in Givat Hamatos completing the Jewish areas of the municipality and separation from Bethlehem. The Administration said the move would “poison relations” among Israel’s allies. Nir Barkat , Mayor of Jerusalem, took exception to the Administration’s criticism of the building program noting that it was anti-discriminatory and had been approved over two years ago. Nearly half of those apartments were allocated for Arabs. There were death threats against Arab property brokers for sales of apartments to Jews in the Silwan section of Jerusalem, that prior to the War for Independence had been occupied by Jews.
Wednesday’s vehicular homicide of three month old Chaya Zisel Braun was perpetrated by Hamas terrorist al-Shaludi with PA President Abbas, as an accomplice after the fact for inciting the terrorist act.
EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. Photos courtesy of NER.