Arab terrorists stabbed two Israelis in the Rami Levy supermarket in the Sha’ar Binyamin shopping center, near Beit El, on Thursday afternoon, killing one and injuring one, rachmana letzlan. The terrorists were then shot by armed civilians.
The murdered Israeli was identified as Tuvia Yanai Weissman, Hy”d, a 22-year-old soldier from the Nachal brigade, who was off duty and wearing civilian clothing at the time of the attack.
The other victim of the attack was 35-year old Avi Avital, of Tel Zion. He was hospitalized in moderate condition.
Weissman, who lived in Maaleh Michmash, is survived by his wife Yael, a four-month-old daughter, his parents and three brothers, reported Arutz Sheva.
The two terrorists, Ayham Bassam Ibrahim Subih and Omar Salim Rimawi, are both 14-year-old Palestinians from the nearby town of Betunia. They managed to pass security checkpoints and enter the store while carrying concealed kitchen knives. They then wandered in the supermarket for around half an hour, before attacking Weissman and Avital.
When shoppers saw the terrorists attacking, the shoppers began running at them and shoving carts at them, until two shoppers who were armed drew their guns and fired. Both terrorists were hit and hospitalized. Rimawi was seriously injured, and there were conflicting reports as to whether Subih was killed or seriously injured.
Ben Hamo and Hanamel Even Chen, the two shoppers who shot the terrorists, spoke with Arutz Sheva on Thursday evening.
Hamo recalled hearing shouts and realizing an attack was occurring. “I ran in the direction of the shouts, and I saw a terrorist holding a knife approaching me,” he said. “I told him, ‘Stop, throw away the knife.’ He took another step, and I shot him.”
Hamo said he then “heard another terrorist. I looked to the right, then there was another guy behind me [Chen], who shot [the terrorist] with two bullets.”
Chen expressed frustration over the recent wave of terror.
“I ask one question: Why do we need to do the work? Where’s the army, where are the police?” he said. “That a simple civilian needs to deal with a terrorist – I think that’s absurd. Why do we need to come across a terrorist? These are questions that bother me.”
“A man returns from his day at work, stops to buy groceries for Shabbat, and is taken away forever by murderous villains,” said Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, in a statement. “We will stand strong and respond firmly to restore calm and normality to the lives of our citizens everywhere. We will defeat terrorism.”
“During this time of anguish and heartache, I wish to offer comfort to the bereaved family, and prayers for the quick recovery of the wounded,” Rivlin said.
Rami Levy operates supermarkets in areas of Yehudah and Shomron, including in Efrat, Beitar, Sha’ar Binyamin and outside Modi’in, and the chain employs many Palestinians.
Last month, Levy said that he planned to open the first Israeli-Palestinian shopping center. Just a few hundred meters from the security fence outside Ramallah, Levy plans to recruit branches of Israeli mall chain stores in the areas of fashion, food, and other retail segments, along with Palestinian chain stores – and, of course, a Rami Levy supermarket, which will sell kosher and even mehadrin products, as the other branches in the chain do.
The project is already under construction, and Levy is said to have invested some NIS 200 million in the project so far. The area, which includes Yerushalayim neighborhoods like Shuafat, Beit Hanina, Givat Ze’ev and Pisgat Ze’ev, and cities and towns like Ramallah and Beit El, includes some 200,000 residents – 120,000 Arabs and 80,000 Jews.
Levy said he was not worried about the recent uptick in terror. “We will serve all customers regardless of who they are,” he told Yisrael Hayom in an interview. “I have been in touch with Arab retailers who are very interested in renting space. There are 200,000 people here who do not have a nearby mall. This is a great central location for an underserved population. I am not concerned about safety issues. We are building a beautiful project here. The entire world will come to see what real coexistence looks like.”
Updated Thursday, February 18, 2016 at 6:09 pm