U.S. House Passes Taylor Force Bill

On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Taylor Force Act, which would cut U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) if the PA does not halt payments to convicted terrorists and their families.

The bill is named after Taylor Force, an American and Vanderbilt graduate student and Army veteran killed March 9, 2016, in a terror attack in Jaffa.

Taylor Force Act Summary At Congress.gov:

This bill prohibits certain assistance under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 from being made available for the West Bank and Gaza unless the Department of State certifies that the Palestinian Authority:

  • is taking steps to end acts of violence against U.S. and Israeli citizens perpetrated by individuals under its jurisdictional control, such as the March 2016 attack that killed former Army officer Taylor Force;
  • is publicly condemning such acts of violence and is investigating, or cooperating in investigations of, such acts; and
  • has terminated payments for acts of terrorism against U.S. and Israeli citizens to any individual who has been convicted and imprisoned for such acts, to any individual who died committing such acts, and to family members of such an individual.Con

Last month, the measure unanimously advanced out of committee, including three exceptions: allowing for US funding to Palestinian water and childhood vaccination programs, as well as East Jerusalem hospitals.

The bill must now pass the full Senate, which is expected to vote on it this month, when the upper chamber votes on a foreign operations bill it was packaged into last September. It is expected to pass. TimesOfTsrael

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) statement after House passage of H.R. 1164, the Taylor Force Act:

“This bill is pretty simple: If you finance or reward terrorism, you don’t deserve a penny from the United States. The Palestinian Authority should be forced to choose between its despicable practice of paying terrorists’ salaries and receiving foreign aid funded by the American taxpayer. And until that time comes, no government that supports the murder of innocent civilians can claim to be a serious partner for peace. I appreciate Chairman Royce, Congressman Lamborn, and all members on both sides of the aisle for their bipartisan efforts on this issue. In Taylor’s memory, I look forward to the Senate passing this legislation so we can send it to the president’s desk.”

Terror At Sarona Market In Tel Aviv, Israel

Update:  Authorities have apprehended a third man involved in the terror attack at the Sarona Market in central Tel Aviv.

Netanyahu noted that the security establishment took a series of steps in the 24 hours since the attack, including “cordoning off the West Bank village of Yatta, the terrorists’ hometown, catching a man who collaborated with the terrorists, revoking work permits of hundreds of members of their family, and freezing thousands of entry permits into Israel for Ramadan.” TimesofIsrael

Yousef Jabarin, a resident of Umm al-Fahm, said the pair were dressed as “lawyers” — wearing black suits, white shirts, skinny ties. He said he knew they were from the West Bank by the way they were dressed and “how they looked.” The terrorists sat down and ordered a dessert, he said, and after 15 minutes, they stood up and started shooting. TimesofIsrael

As in previous years Israel made a good will gesture by relaxing restrictions on the movement of Palestinians to and from the West Bank and Gaza Strip during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

In an official statement over twitter, the Hamas terror group praises the Tel Aviv shooting as “heroic” and suggests more attacks are likely to come over the month of Ramadan. TimesofIsrael

pikiwiki_israel_46147_sarona_marketSarona Market is a complex of restaurants and boutiques that opened to the public last year.

At least three people were killed and multiple others wounded after a shooter opened fire in central Tel Aviv, according to media reports citing Israeli police.

Tel Aviv’s police chief confirmed that two suspects had been apprehended, and that one of them was wounded, according to a BBC reporter on the ground.

Police have ended their search for a third suspect.

The shooting occurred at Sarona Market, an upscale mall in the center of the city. Reports of a shooting first came in around 9:30 p.m. local time, Israeli police said in a statement.

The shooting is being described as a terror attack aimed against Israelis.An eyewitness told The Times of Israel that a shooter fired his weapon until he ran out of bullets and fled the scene. The shooters apparently targeted a cafe inside Sarona. Business Insider

Moment policeman shot the terrorist in central Tel Aviv.

Stabbing Spree By Palestinian In Jaffa, American Tourist Killed

Vanderbilt graduate student Taylor Force was killed Tuesday March 9, 2016 in a terror attack in Jaffa. (Facebook)
Taylor Force, an American and Vanderbilt graduate student and Army veteran was killed Tuesday March 9, 2016 in a terror attack in Jaffa. (Facebook)

Tuesday an American tourist, Taylor Force, 29, was stabbed to death in Tel Aviv-Jaffa during a stabbing spree by a Palestinian.  Force was attacked along a boardwalk near a beach in the Jaffa area of Tel Aviv that is popular with tourists.

Taylor Force was from Lubbock, Texas; a graduate student at Vanderbilt University and  a veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Force graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and served in the Army from 2009 to 2014, reported the Daily Mail.

Force’s wife was severely injured in the attack, according to Zaki Heller, spokesperson for the Magen David Adom ambulance service, reported the Times of Israel.

“It is with extreme sadness that I write to inform you that Taylor Force, a student at our Owen Graduate School of Management, was fatally wounded March 8 in a stabbing attack while on an Owen school trip to Tel Aviv, Israel,” the Nashville, Tennessee university said in a statement. “All other Vanderbilt students, faculty and staff on the trip are safe.”

“This horrific act of violence has robbed our Vanderbilt family of a young hopeful life and all of the bright promise that he held for bettering our greater world,” school Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos wrote. “Taylor’s family and his friends and colleagues have our deepest sympathy and utmost support.”

11 other people were wounded, four of them seriously reported Haaretz.  The terrorist Bashar Masalha, 22, from Qalqilya in the West Bank was killed by police.

According to the police, the assailant stabbed three people at the Jaffa port, and then ran to the promenade and stabbed four more near the Manta Ray Restaurant. He then fled toward Tel Aviv, but was shot dead by police officers. No other assailant is suspected of having been involved in the attack. Haaretz

A video shows Masalha running into traffic.  As the cars slow down he runs up to the vehicles and stabs the occupants before continuing up the road.

When I got to the port, I saw a woman of about 30 in a serious condition with stab wounds to her upper body,” said Magen David Adom paramedic Hagai Natani. “Near her was a wounded man lying on the ground. We gave first aid to both of them before they were evacuated by ambulance to hospital.”

Tuesday there were three other attacks by Palestinians, one in the Tel Aviv suburb of Petah Tikva and another two in Jerusalem.

Policemen wounded in shooting attack in Jerusalem. Earlier in the day, a terrorist opened fire with a Carl Gustav rifle at police officers operating on Salah e-Din Street near Herod’s Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City, wounding one of them seriously. The terrorist then escaped, and as a police and Border Police force was pursuing him, he fired at them and seriously wounded another policeman. YNetNews

Foiled attack in Jerusalem

Earlier, a Palestinian woman tried to stab police officers in Jerusalem’s Hagai Street, which has seen several stabbings in the past few months.

According to the police, the terrorist approached Border Police officers on Hagai Street, drew a knife from her back, and tried to stab them.

The woman, a resident of East Jerusalem aged around 50, was shot and fatally wounded. No one else was hurt. YNetNews

Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack and has Hamas praised the attacks.

Hamas spokesman Hussam Badran also called on the different Palestinian factions to join the “struggle of the Palestinians youths who choose to go and carry out attacks at the heart of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.” Haaretz

Two heroes in Petah Tikva

An Israeli man, who was collecting money for charity, hospitalized in moderate condition after Petah Tikva attack.  An Israeli man who was stabbed multiple times Tuesday afternoon in a terror attack in Petah Tikva managed to remove the knife from his neck and use it to stab and neutralize his attacker, aided by the store owner, police said. TimesOfIsrael

A terrorist stabbed an ultra-Orthodox man who was entering a store on Baron Hirsch Street. Yonatan Ezriyahav, 39, was caught by surprise when the terrorist, Abdel Rahman Radar, attacked him from behind with a knife, stabbing him in his upper body…

Ezriyahav, a father of five from Yavne’el in northern Israel, originally arrived at the Petah Tikva market to hand out leaflets about Rabbi Nachman of Breslov.

“I was in the store, and all of a sudden, someone jumped on me,” Ezriyahav recounted. “I didn’t understand what he was doing, until someone yelled ‘terrorist!’ and I realized (what was going on) and saw the knife. I felt it in my neck, and I asked ‘what happened to me?’ I thought it was the end.”…

An eye witness at the scene said that “It all happened in a matter of seconds. Two people ran to the victim, and they tore his shirt and tied it around his wounds to try and stop him from bleeding out. Then they sat the victim in a chair. The store owner is a real hero. He fearlessly jumped onto the terrorist.”

“A lot of people came up to the store owner and called him a hero,” Yoav Levi, a Petah Tikva resident said. “Everyone came to pat him on the back, but he was in shock. I told him ‘you’re my hero, you’re everyone’s hero.'”

Eventually, Ezriyahav was evacuated to the hospital, and the Palestinian terrorist died of his wounds. YNetNews

After terror attacks the IDF seals off two West Bank Villages

IDF troops closed off two West Bank villages, after apparently unrelated attacks in Petah Tikva andJaffa on Tuesday left one person dead and a dozen injured, an army spokesperson said.

Security forces also entered the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya, the hometown of another assailant who opened fire at police officers outside the Old City on Tuesday afternoon, injuring two, one of them critically. TimesOfIsrael

Attack on Dizengoff Street, Tel Aviv

29-year-old Nashat Milhem, an Israeli Arab, is the suspect in the shooting on Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv that killed two people and wounded seven more on New Year’s day.  He was jailed for five years for a 2007 attack on a soldier with a screwdriver while trying to get the soldiers gun.

Sunday the two young men murdered in the attack on Dizengoff Street were laid to rest.

Alon Bakal, 26, was buried in Carmiel.   Alon Bakal was the manager of the Simta bar targeted in the shooting.

In his eulogy, Bakal’s father said:

Alon Bakal
Alon Bakal

How can a father write about a son who hasn’t yet turned 27? Aloni, with a giant heart of gold and a level head that always pushed you to achieve great heights… [But] you weren’t thinking only of yourself. You thought about giving – whether in distributing supplies for Holocaust survivors, or volunteering for the charity ‘Latet,’ in charge of collecting groceries from supermarkets [for the needy] …

Before moving to Tel Aviv, you lived in Netanya. Your bedroom window overlooked a park bench, where you noticed that every day at four o’clock three old women would sit and then disperse an hour later. One day, you noticed that only two arrived, and that continued for another day or two. So you made two cups of tea and brought them downstairs to the women and asked what had happened to the third.

That was Alon … charismatic… always a central figure who everyone fell in love with…

We are crushed; surrounded by darkness. From heaven, shed your soul’s light on our lives. Aloni, Aloni, Aloni, we loved you and will love you forever. Algemeiner

Shimon Ruimi, 30, was buried in Ofakim.  Shimon Ruimi from the southern town of Ofakim, had traveled to Tel Aviv for a friend’s birthday.

In her eulogy, Ruimi’s aunt, Mor Peretz said:

Shimon_RuimiToday, we are standing here and instead of celebrating your birthday, we are burying you. It is not the natural way of life for parents to bury their child.Now we understand the term ‘before his time.’ May God avenge your blood, Shimi.

You died a martyr’s death and have become everyone’s child. The fierce rain of the past few days shows how Heaven is crying at your passing.

You survived serving in Gaza, you survived war, but you were unable to survive one bullet of hatred that pierced your heart and at the same time, pierced all of our hearts. TimesOfIsrael

Police are continuing the manhunt for 29-year-old Nashat Milhem.  Schools in Tel Aviv have increased security and only half of the students attended school on Sunday in North Tel Aviv. jpost

“Of course I didn’t send my son to school today,” Dalia E. told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.

“This shooter is still on the loose, and he supposedly has a gun and just the thought of what he could do- I don’t even want to think about it,” she said.

Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai said parents can keep children home.

“If a parent does not feel secure, do not send your child to school tomorrow; we will not come to you with complaints,” Huldai said in an interview with the Ynet news site.

Nonetheless, he added: “Schools, kindergartens and all the municipal services of Tel Aviv-Jaffa will be open tomorrow to the public; that’s how it is and that’s how it should be.” TimesOfIsrael