Alert School Bus Driver, Police Stop Knife Attack
JERUSALEM, Israel -- Two Palestinian terrorists armed with butcher knives stabbed an ultra-Orthodox Jewish teen after failing to board a school bus early Thursday morning.
The incident took place in Beit Shemesh, an Israeli town of about 100,000 residents halfway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
The bus driver closed the doors, preventing the two from boarding, while several unarmed passersby tracked them as they notified police.
One eyewitness told Israel's Army Radio he saw the two head toward the synagogue on Havakook Street, where worshippers were gathered for morning prayers. Apparently they attacked the first person they came across, an 18-year-old yeshiva (Torah seminary) student.
When police arrived, they opened fire at the terrorists, neutralizing both of them. They were transported to an Israeli hospital where one succumbed to his wounds and the second remains in serious condition.
The two were wearing Izz al-Din al-Kassam Brigades tee shirts, the armed wing of Hamas, the Palestinian faction ruling the Gaza Strip.
One of the attackers had served two years in Israeli prison after an incident at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron involving a knife, the Israeli daily YNet reported. He was identified as a Hamas operative, who was active in the terror groups student union.
Hamas Leader: 'Uprisings' Will Continue
Meanwhile, Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal told participants at a rally in South Africa, organized by the African National Congress and reportedly endorsed by the government, the stabbing attacks will continue, Times of Israel diplomatic correspondent Raphael Ahren reported.
The uprisings shall continue until freedom is achieved and the land is for Palestine and its people, Meshaal said, according to the report.
The South African Zionist Federation issued a statement condemning in the strongest terms possible the fact that a delegation representing the Hamas Central Committee will be visiting South Africa as the honored guests of the ruling party.
During these past few weeks of barbaric violence targeting Israel, Hamas has enthusiastically endorsed the cold-blooded murder of Israel civilians and instigated dozens of lethal attacks against them, the statement read.
The federation further stated that Hamas has never supported the creation of an independent Palestinian state co-existing in peace alongside Israel.
Instead, its charter explicitly stipulates that no negotiated settlement is possible in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians with jihad [holy war] being the only solution.
Simply speaking, Hamas wishes to destroy Israel altogether and seeks to establish an Islamist dictatorship in its place, the statement concluded, echoing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahus remarks Tuesday to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon during their meeting in Jerusalem.
'Tailwind for Terrorism'
Israels Foreign Ministry summoned the South African deputy ambassador to express Israels disgust of the government-endorsed invitation.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said it provided a tailwind for terrorism and blatantly and crudely ignored the position of the international community, which considers Hamas a terror organization.
In related news, the Israel Defense Forces Engineering Corps is using advanced equipment to locate Hamas terror tunnels dug under Israels border with the Gaza Strip.
During last summers war with Hamas, Israel discovered and destroyed several tunnels that penetrated the border, one opening near a kindergarten in a southern Israeli community.