Israel Passover Eve Murder Blamed on 'Incitement'
JERUSALEM, Israel -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed the Palestinian Authority's ongoing incitement for a terror attack that left one Israeli dead and his family wounded just before the start of the Passover holiday.
On Monday evening, an Arab armed with an automatic rifle killed 47-year-old Police Superintendent Baruch Mizrahi as he drove his family to a Passover seder at his in-law's home in Kiryat Arba, adjacent to Hebron.
Mizrachi spotted the man first, armed with a Kalashnikov at the side of the road, and shouting "terrorist, shooting," he floored the gas seconds before the shooter opened fire, killing him and wounding his pregnant wife, Hadas.
The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and Israel Defense Forces Intelligence personnel are continuing the investigation, taking several people from a nearby Arab village in for questioning.
Netanyahu called the murder an "abominable and reprehensible act."
"The Palestinian Authority continues to constantly broadcast -- in its official media -- programs that incite against the existence of the State of Israel. Last night this incitement was translated into the murder of a father who was traveling with his family to celebrate the first night of Passover," Netanyahu said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh praised the attack, saying it "brought back life to the path of resistance," the Times of Israel reported. "We tell the enemy [Israel] and anyone who thinks he is able to tame the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] the West Bank will be the future point of our struggle with the enemy."
Mizrachi's wife, whose actions in large part saved her children, appealed to Netanyahu not to release any more Arab terrorists -- something the United States is pushing Israel to do as a gesture to keep the Israeli-Palestinian talks going.
"Terrorists see they can kill us and be released without receiving appropriate punishment," Hadas Mizrachi told Israel's Channel 2, pleading so others would not have to suffer the same loss as their family.
Describing the attack, she said she knew instinctively her husband had been killed and ordered the kids to get down on the floor, managing, despite two bullet wounds and a broken rib, to regain control of the car.
When help arrived, paramedics dressed her wounds and transported her to Jerusalem's Shaare Zedek hospital. Authorities took the children to relatives.Monday evening, she told them their father had not survived.
Some would say, Hadas Mizrahi typifies the spirit of the Israeli people.
"He [the shooter] didn't give up and I didn't give up either," she told Channel 2. "Otherwise we would all have been slaughtered. I will be strong for the children because that's what Baruch would have wanted."
The funeral takes place Wednesday afternoon at Jerusalem's Mount Herzl cemetery.