AUSTRALIAN Jewish leaders have condemned a terrorist attack at a nature reserve in the West Bank, which killed a 17-year-old Israeli girl and left her father and brother severely wounded.
Rina Shnerb of Lod, her father Eitan, a rabbi, and her brother Dvir, 19, were hiking at the Ein Bubin spring when they were attacked with an explosive device that had been planted earlier at the spring and remotely detonated when the family approached.
Stating, “We are angered and appalled by the calculated killing,” Executive Council of Australian Jewry co-CEO Alex Ryvchin said, “To the Palestinian terrorists who did this and their apologists around the world, this savage crime will be rationalised as an act of resistance.
“To any decent human being, this is an act of supreme cowardice and cold-blooded murder that has taken a girl from her family.”
Ryvchin said such acts “do nothing to advance Palestinian interests”.
“In fact, they only harden the resolve of Israelis to live freely and to never allow terrorists to determine political outcomes. May the memory of Rina forever bless her family and those who knew her.
“May her family be comforted among the mourners of Zion and may justice be swift.”
Zionist Federation of Australia president Jeremy Leibler said acts of terror perpetrated against innocent civilians are “reprehensible”.
“However, the actions of Shnerb’s killers cannot be viewed in a vacuum. They are a direct result of daily and incessant incitements to violence against Israelis espoused by Palestinian political and religious leaders and others elsewhere who give succor to their cause,” Leibler said.
“We send our deepest condolences to Rina’s family and pray that her father Eitan and brother Dvir have a quick and easy recovery.”
Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council executive director Colin Rubenstein said, “The appalling, premeditated Palestinian terrorist attack is a result of the callous disregard for human life and hostility to peaceful coexistence which is promoted and celebrated by Hamas and others.
“While murdering Israelis and attempting to destroy Israel remains central to Palestinian political culture, prospects for any ‘peace process’ appear remote indeed.”
Anti-Defamation Commission chairman Dvir Abramovich said, “The heinous violence directed against Israelis as they go about their daily lives is not ending, and we condemn this depraved act of terrorism in which, once again, innocent Israeli blood has been spilled.”
Abramovich noted that this year the Palestinian Authority has increased the “pay-to-slay” salaries given to those who murder or wound Israelis, “providing lifetime pensions to the perpetrators or to their surviving relatives”.
“We call on the international community, including Australia, to swiftly condemn and demand a stop to this evil practice,” he said.