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An Arab terrorist infiltrated Jerusalem's Merkaz HaRav Yeshiva at around 8:30 Thursday night and murdered eight Jews. At least 10 students were wounded, including five in serious to critical condition.
Five of the dead were high school students in Merkaz Harav's Yeshiva LeTze'irim, and three studied in the upper-school Merkaz HaRav Yeshiva.
The attacker entered the yeshiva and opened fire on students before he was gunned down himself by a part-time yeshiva student, aided by an off-duty army officer from the neighborhood. The attack began in the seminary's library with the terrorist spraying bullets in every direction before anyone could react.
The part-time yeshiva student who first shot the terrorist, 40-year-old Yitzchak Dadon, said he was in the Yeshiva's study hall when he heard the shots. "Everyone left through a side door," he said, "and I left through a window, and lied down on a roof overlooking the library... When he came out, I shot him in the head twice. I saw him start to stagger, and then David Shapira [a yeshiva graduate and paratroopers officer] arrived on the scene, shot him with his M-16 rifle, and then we emptied our magazines into him."
Dadon later told Arutz-7, "It was terribly frustrating feeling, knowing he was in there shooting, but I could do nothing but wait for him to come out so that I could shoot him... While waiting, I could see some boys in a side room in the library turn off the lights and barricade their door - and though he tried, he was unable to come into the room and gun them all down."
State-Run Radio Leaves Dadon Out of Report
Dadon was interviewed on various television and radio channels and told his story. When describing what the terrorist was wearing, Dadon emphasized that he was armed with a Kalachnikov rifle that was given him by "our President Peres and by the Olmert government." The interviewers invariably tried to cut him off. Later, the official news report by government-run Israel Radio left him out of its reports, announcing only, "An IDF officer who lives near the Yeshiva heard the shots, came to the scene and shot the terrorist to death." That report still appeared on its internet site late Friday morning.
Dadon told Arutz-7 that it is imperative that every yeshiva begin a military training course so that the students can defend themselves when necessary. It was just such a course, provided by the Mishmeret Yesha organization, that helped the counselors of the Mekor Chaim yeshiva in Kfar Etzion kill two terrorists who came to perpetrate a massacre there just over a month ago.
Initial reports indicated that a second terrorist was hiding in the yeshiva building, forcing students to take cover for an additional while, but responding security forces finally determined that there had been only one terrorist. Police deployed in the surrounding neighborhood, and scoured the yeshiva and connected buildings. Most students in the building were evacuated after taking cover in the yeshiva's bomb shelter.
Fifty ambulances responded to the scene. The wounded were evacuated to Hadassah Ein Karem and Shaarei Tzedek Hospitals.
In Gaza City, Arab residents went out into the streets and fired rifles in the air in celebration of the attack against the Jews of Jerusalem.
Police forces have been increased throughout the capital and placed on heightened alert around the country.
The Merkaz HaRav Yeshiva is located near the entrance to Jerusalem, in the Kiryat Moshe neighborhood. The yeshiva, founded by Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kook, is at the heart of the national-religious movement in Israel.
Four People Injured in Other Attacks
Four people were wounded in a rocket attack on Sderot on Thursday evening. One of the victims, who was in his house when it sustained a direct hit, suffered moderate head wounds. Three other people suffered light injuries.
A second rocket hit a gas tank, causing a fire. Firefighters managed to gain control of the blaze. No injuries were reported.
Arabs attacked Israeli drivers on Thursday night, rolling flaming tires onto Route 60 as cars drove past. The attack took place west of Hevron, near the town of Otniel. IDF soldiers witnessed the group beginning its attack and fired on one of the attacker's legs. The attacker was hit and wounded moderately.