Richard Lakin, Hy”d, a 76-year-old American-Israeli educator, wounded in a Palestinian terror attack on a Yerushalayim bus two weeks ago, died on Tuesday of his injuries.
A former school principal in Glastonbury, Connecticut, who immigrated to Israel in the early 1980s, Lakin was the 11th Israeli to be killed in the ongoing campaign of Palestinian terror.
He was stabbed and shot in an Oct. 13 assault on the No. 78 bus in Armon Hanatziv that killed two other bus passengers and wounded several others. His death was announced by Hadassah Hospital in Yerushalayim, where he had been treated in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and had undergone several operations for bullet and knife wounds in his head and chest.
The U.S. ambassador to Israel called it “devastating news.”
Israeli security forces, responding to the bus attack, shot dead one of the assailants and captured the other, police said.
Lakin, 76, was originally from Newton, Massachusetts, and was a longtime principal in Glastonbury, Connecticut.
Micah Avni said his father was an educator who worked for coexistence between Arabs and Jews after moving to Israel from the U.S. in 1984. He was an elementary school principal in the U.S. and taught English in mixed classes of Muslims and Jews in Jerusalem, the son said.
In the 1960s, Lakin was active in the civil rights movement in the U.S., marching with Martin Luther King and bringing students from Boston to the south for sit-ins, Avni said.
“He was a big believer in people and in peace and in being kind and never hurt a soul in his life,” Avni said.
Israel released figures on Tuesday showing a staggering increase in the incidence of terrorism during the past few weeks. Of the 1,703 attacks in 2015, 778 occurred since Rosh Hashana, which killed 11 and injured about a hundred civilians and soldiers, Arutz Sheva reported.
This compares with 2013, which saw 1,414 attacks; and in 2014 about 1,650 terrorist attacks. 35 were killed — up from zero in 2012.
The statistics were submitted to the High Court by state attorneys arguing the case for the demolition of the homes of terrorists, in response to petitions to cancel the orders. The court has postponed them in the meantime.
“The above data indicates a significant change in circumstances and the escalating scope, intensity and level of murderous terrorism, that require knowing that political and security officials are taking measures to deter potential terrorists from carrying out attacks in general, and such as those that recently circulated, in particular,” the state’s report said. (With reporting by Reuters and AP)