WHEN a Palestinian terrorist drove a truck into a crowd of IDF cadets in Jerusalem on Sunday, killing four and injuring more than a dozen others, former Sydneysider Dovi Meyer was one of the first emergency responders on the scene.
“The last six months were so quiet,” the Hatzolah volunteer who moved to Israel in 2014 posted on Facebook. “A terrible feeling of the potential threat of terror lingered from a previous year, but the holidays came and went quietly and the streets began to fill again with confident tourists.”
However, the calm Meyer experienced was shattered at 1.23pm when his radio alerted him to the ramming attack.
“Arriving a few minutes later to a scene of chaos, we began to triage those who were suffering from shock and deal with those who were injured,” he wrote.
“I pray that in your lifetime you never have to witness young soldiers pinned under a vehicle driven by a terrorist who was recently released from jail. I pray that when you go home to your family, you hold them tight, because as I write this there are parents receiving a door knock from officials telling them that their children are not coming back home. Ever!
“May this be the last terror attack we ever have to go to. The last sleepless night we have thinking about what else we could have done. The last time Am Yisrael has to mourn the loss of another child!”
Australia’s ambassador to Israel Dave Sharma, who paid his respects to the deceased at the scene of the ramming on Monday and visited two of the injured soldiers in hospital, said “Australia condemns unreservedly yesterday’s vicious terrorist attack … We mourn the loss of four young innocent lives (three women and one man, all in their early 20s), extend our heartfelt sympathies to their families and loved ones, and dearly hope for the recovery of those fighting their injuries in hospital.”
He also described Hamas’s praise for the attack as “sickening and reprehensible”.
The sentiment was echoed by Executive Council of Australian Jewry president Anton Block and executive director Peter Wertheim, who noted, “As has become routine, Hamas praised the attack as ‘heroic’, the Fatah movement of the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas labelled the terrorist a ‘martyr’, while in Gaza, sweets were handed out to celebrate the atrocity. These acts of glorification of terror and incitement to further violence must stop.”
Stating that the Australian Jewish community “shares the sorrow, grief and anger caused by this barbaric crime”, they added, “We pray for the souls of the murdered and for their families to be granted strength at this terrible time.”
Describing the attack as “the same terror that we have seen in France and in Germany”, Danny Lamm, president of the Zionist Federation of Australia said, “We urge the international community to view this incident for what it is – relentless terrorism against an entire population.”
Condemning the Palestinian leadership “for their incitement to violence and for their refusal to seek a more peaceful future,” he added, “we hold them personally responsible for this heinous attack”.
Referring to UN Security Council resolution 2334, Lamm said, “I certainly hope that the one-sided resolution has not convinced the Palestinians that they no longer have any obligations or responsibility to work towards bringing peace to the region.”