Terrorists mark Ramadan holiday with a rise in violence. In one month, six Israeli civilians have been killed in three separate terror attacks.
For most Muslims, Ramadan is a time for prayer, reflection, charity, and family. It’s a time of peace, and of deepening one’s connection with their religion. But extremists have exploited the holy month for their own purposes. Inspired by international terror groups like ISIS, and encouraged and praised by local terror groups like Hamas, Palestinian terrorists have marked Ramadan as a time of violence and destruction. This is how Palestinian terrorists have celebrated Islam’s holiest month.
The Beginning: Tel Aviv Shooting
On June 8, three days into Ramadan, suit-clad 21-year-old cousins Khalid al-Muhamra and Muhammad Ahmad Moussa Mahmara, sat down in a popular cafe in Sarona Market, a shopping and dining complex in Tel Aviv. At 9:30 PM, after ordering their meals, they opened fire at diners and passersby. The terrorists, who hail from the town of Yatta near Hebron, used Carl Gustav rifles that they smuggled into Israel to kill four Israeli civilians and injure seven more in a deadly mass shooting.
An investigation revealed that the terrorists were inspired by ISIS, but were not official members of the terror organization. They had originally planned to attack a train car, but changed their plans on the day of the attack. One of the terrorists was neutralized at the scene by police, and both were arrested, along with an accomplice.
Hamas praises the attack on Twitter, promises more terror during Ramadan
Hamas praised the attack, calling it the “Ramadan operation” and celebrating the “First Attack of Ramadan.” They published a cartoon of a bullet wrapped in dough as a “Ramadan treat,” with the caption “Tel Aviv Operation.”
Palestinian Ramadan treat being stuffed with a bullet with the caption “Tel Aviv operation”
On June 24, an 18-year-old Palestinian terrorist rammed her car into a stationary vehicle in Kiryat Arba, wounding two Israeli passengers, including a 50-year-old woman. The terrorist, of Bani Naim, near Hebron, was neutralized at the scene by a soldier.
Less than a week later, as the last week of Ramadan began, Palestinian terror escalated further. Another Bani Naim resident, 17-year-old Muhammad Nasser Tarayrah, saw violence celebrated on social media. On the morning of June 30, Tarayrah broke into the home of the Ariel family in Kiryat Arba. He entered the room of 13-year-old Hillel Yaffa Ariel, who was sleeping, and stabbed her repeatedly. After being evacuated to the hospital, she died of her wounds. Tarayrah was shot on the scene by security forces.
Hallel Yaffa Ariel’s bedroom after the attack
In the days before the attack, Tarayrah wrote poems about martyrdom and praised other terrorists on his Facebook page. After his death, his Facebook timeline was full of congratulations and messages of support from friends and family, perpetuating the circle of attack, praise, and incitement.
48 Hours of Terror
On the same day that Hallel Yaffa Ariel was killed by a Palestinian terrorist, a terrorist from Tulkarem stabbed and wounded two Israelis in the city of Netanya.
A day later, on July 1, Michael “Miki” Mark, a 48-year-old rabbi and Yeshiva head, was driving home to the city of Otniel with his family. Palestinian terrorists opened fire on his car, killing Mark and wounding his wife and two of their children. Forces continue to search for the perpetrators, and two additional battalions have been mobilized in Hebron in order to thwart additional attacks.
The Mark family car after the shooting
The Holiday’s End
A rocket launched from the Gaza Strip hit and damaged a kindergarten in Sderot in southern Israel on July 1.
A rocket fired from Gaza hits a kindergarten classroom
In advance of the end of Ramadan and the holiday of Eid al-Fitr, terrorists continued attempting attacks on Israelis. On July 5, at 6:10 PM, a terrorist wielding a knife attempted to stab soldiers at a bus stop, who then neutralized the attacker. On July 6, the beginning of Eid al-Fitr, at 3:35 PM, a Palestinian rammed his car into a military vehicle in Neve Daniel near Bethlehem. Three soldiers were injured, as was the attacker, who was evacuated for emergency care.
Photo: Israel Police
Ramadan is supposed to be a time of peace. Instead, terrorists and extremists have exploited this holy month to end a period of relative calm in the nine-month wave of terror. Six innocent civilians were murdered in three terror attacks over the course of the holiday, and many more were wounded. When incitement and hatred are allowed to take hold, a month of celebration can be turned into a month of mourning.