On Thursday, the new Israeli government faced its first test in how to respond to a Palestinian terror attack after an axe-wielding Arab man infiltrated the unfenced settlement of Bat Ayin, in the Gush Etzion bloc south of Jerusalem, killing a 13-year-old Jewish boy and wounding a 7-year-old child.
The teenager, Shlomo Nativ, was declared dead on the scene, while the youngster, Yair Gamliel, is being treated for a fractured skull at a Jerusalem hospital. The terrorist was finally confronted by a local resident, but managed to get away and is still being sought by authorities.
The attack presents a unique challenge to the new Netanyahu government in that the wounded boy's father, Ofer Gamliel, is a member of an extremist Jewish underground movement and is currently serving a 15-year jail sentence after being convicted in 2003 for an attempted bomb plot against an Arab girls' school on the Mount of Olives in east Jerusalem. The Israeli prisons service was to have allowed him to visit his son in the hospital Thursday afternoon, under close escort. IDF sources said that the army was preparing for the possibility that Jewish settlers would avenge the attack by striking back at Arab targets.
This story was orginally posted on www.icej.org.
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