At approximately 8:30 this evening (20:30) on 6 March, two terrorists entered Merkáz haRáv Yeshivá in the Kiryát Moshé neighborhood of Jerusalem and killed eight students and wounded approximately forty people, as they sprayed the yeshiva with several hundred rounds from Kalashnikov rifles they were carrying.
One of the yeshiva students had a gun and killed one of the terrorists, a resident of Jébel Mukábr, a southeast Arab neighborhood just north and east of Armón haNetzív (where I used to live).
When residents of Gaza heard of the news on their own radios, they broke out cheering, shooting rifles in the air in celebration of the attack on students in a yeshiva.
The first hint of trouble came to me as I was sitting guard in the guard booth at the gate of Ma'alé Levoná. Someone got on the walkie talkie asking, "Have you heard the news?" Asked what news, he answered, "Of a shooting attack or something like that."
I turned up the volume of the radio in the guard booth and minutes before the news was due to come on at 21:00, the announcer on Radio Jerusalem said that there had been a shooting incident in Jerusalem with lots of wounded and two terrorists attacking.
The news came in thick and fast, and it was a task taking notes in Hebrew from the radio and opening and closing the gate at the same time. It was shortly known that several yeshiva students had been killed, and that many were wounded, being taken off in ambulances to Sha'aré Tzédeq Hospital and to Hadássah 'Ein Qérem Hospital, both in the western portions of the city.
As people called in to Radio Jerusalem with reports, the announcers went back and forth between six and eight dead, with fluid reports coming in on those who were wounded and in hospital. By 22:00 it was clear that eight students had been killed and that over 35 people had been wounded. Initial speculation on the terrorists coming from Gaza was ended when it was reported towards 23:00 that the dead terrorist was a Jerusalem resident. By this time, the Jerusalem police brass had already given a press conference indicating that increased police and border patrols would be on hand tomorrow in the Old City when Jews gather to recite special prayers to mark the beginning of Adar Bet, the month during which Purim takes place. The terror attack will put a pall of sadness on the prayers, which are supposed to inaugurate a month of joy with its joyful holiday of Purim.
Reports from Arutz Sheva and Yediot Ahronot contain further details of the attack. It should be noted that Yediot Ahronot has apparently dropped its English site, and denied access to the English version of this article on Arabs celebrating in Gaza.
While any terror attack comes as an unpleasant surprise, Arabs had been opening up the faucet of terror wider and wider since last weekend. It now appears evident from the nature of the increased violence that a period of instability and very possibly a hot war will follow in the not too distant future.
This does not change the fact that eight families now have to do a most painful task — bury and mourn their children and loved ones. In the comment section, I will update this information with the names of the murdered.
Hashém y'nakém damám. May G-d avenge their blood.