Daily Vigil Planned in Gush Etzion in Response to Terror Attacks
A statement released by grassroots group Women In Green (Nashim B'yarok) last night (Saturday) reveals new plans to hold a daily vigil at "Tzomet Ha-Ti" junction between Tekoa and Efrat, to demand a permanent Jewish presence in the region in response to a wave of recent terror attacks.
The plan is to meet at the junction at 2:00 PM Sunday, and every day this week, until after the Mincha afternoon prayer commences, in a show of support for the Jewish residents of the Gush Etzion bloc in the wake of a number of terror attacks there in the past week.
On Friday, an Israeli couple were injured after barely escaping a Molotov Cocktail attack on their vehicle, outside the Gush Etzion village of Tekoa. The couple suffered light to moderate burns all over their bodies, while their vehicle was burned to the ground. MKs, the chairwomen of Women In Green, and the head of the Gush Etzion regional board all blamed the visit of US Secretary of State John Kerry for the incident, as well as for other violent attacks emerging this past week.
The vigil also directly follows today's funeral for Nofar-Hodaya Shimon, 17, an Efrat resident who was hit by a Palestinian Arab driver as she crossed the road outside of the Elazar community in the same bloc last week. Following the incident, Gush Etzion residents held a protest outside of the Transportation Ministry on Thursday to demand that a traffic light be placed at the busy and vital intersection, among concerns by residents of nearby communities about the safety of the entrances to Jewish villages in the Etzion region. Shimon's funeral will take place in Efrat at 1:00 PM.
There has been a wave of terror attacks in Judea and Samaria since early last week. Last Monday, five firebombs were thrown at a bus carrying several passengers at about midnight, among them Bayit Yehudi MK Orit Struk. On Wednesday, terrorists fired on IDF soldiers near Modi'in and attempted to run one down. Thursday, the IDF thwarted an attempted terror attack at terror hotspot Tapuah junction, after a Palestinian Arab terrorist tried to stab a soldier after firing a flare near a popular hitchhiking post.
Women in Green has been highly involved in public condemnation of the attacks, especially in the wake of perceived indifference on the part of the Israeli government surrounding the attacks. Last week, chairwomen Nadia Matar and Yehudit Kastover released a statement that "John Kerry speaks, and the Arabs carry out. Kerry threatened a third intifada - and the terrorists took additional support for terror from his words, and went to perpetrate the firebomb attack this morning. John Kerry bears responsibility for this attack."
They concluded by showing support for area residents, as well as for Israelis as a whole, after reports of a steep decline in international support for building efforts in the Judea and Samaria regions. "The United States is returning to its dark days, the time when it chose to betray the Jewish people. Now, however, unlike those days, the Jewish people is capable of defending itself. If it only internalizes that it must take its fate in its hands, it will be able to do so."