By Katy Sorsher Smith
It has been a morning of horror in Jerusalem.
At around 7am, two Palestinian terrorists, citizens of Israel and carriers of Israeli State IDs, armed with knives, axes, and firearms, entered a Jerusalem synagogue at the Har Nof neighborhood, where dozens of worshippers were in the middle of morning prayers, and started shooting into the crowd and stabbing those who were in close range.
In this horrible, carefully planned massacre, four people were murdered and eight others wounded. As I’m writing this, one of the wounded is still fighting for his life. Four more people have serious injuries.
Both terrorists were shot dead after coming out of the synagogue during a gunfight, which developed between them and the Israeli police. Two police officers were wounded.
The pictures I’m watching on TV from inside the synagogue are horrifying. Blood-stained floors and tallits (prayer shawls), chairs scattered during the chaos… that’s all that was left in this house of worship, which is now full of police and officials investigating the terror scene.
This is by far the worst act of terror against Israelis in the last few years. During the last five weeks, random attacks in Jerusalem (and other areas in Israel) have been taking place in which Palestinians decide to use their vehicles or heavy machinery as weapons against innocent civilians.
This terror attack, however, is different.
The weapons used for the attack were machete-like knives and cleavers – similar to those ISIS uses in their videos. The fact that two terrorists were involved shows this heinous act was planned. The timing of morning prayers, when the synagogue is usually filled with up to 80 worshipers, also shows panning. Some analysts say this act was more like those committed against Jews in Europe.
Many Israelis are now asking, is this the beginning of a Third Intifada? Unfortunately, whatever name you choose to give this sudden spike in terror attacks, they are happening and will probably continue to happen.
Palestinian and Hamas leaders are openly encouraging their faithful to continue the uprising. Multitudes of young Palestinians filled with hatred for the Jewish people from childhood see it as their ultimate goal and honor to die as a martyr, taking as many Jewish lives with them as possible.
With several generation of Palestinians being raised on incitement and false claims, on promises of returning of Jerusalem and the lands that once belonged to Palestinian people through a Holy War (jihad) and resistance, on brainwashing that death is more honorable than life, can there ever be an end to terror against Israel?
Through the gloomy picture that is being painted daily on the streets of Israel, I can still confidently say, YES!
For God’s promises stand forever. His faithfulness is sure. He will deliver Jerusalem. He will save Jacob out of this trouble. He will redeem Israel even when all nations come against it.
But for now, the battle rages, and we are asking for your prayers.
Pray for those who lost their loved ones today. May the Lord comfort them and show His face to them, covering them with His love and grace.
Pray for a quick recovery for all the wounded.
Pray against fear among Israelis.
Pray for divine protection for God’s chosen people, His chosen city, Jerusalem, and His firstborn nation, Israel.