The brutal murders of the Fogel family, including the beheading of a 3 month old baby, the stabbing a 3 year old twice in the heart, and the murder of both their parents, along with an 11 year old brother who was staying up late reading in bed, have shocked the world. But the Muslim terrorist tactic of massacring families is not a new one. It has been a signature move of the PLO in its various phases, especially the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade.
Many of us would like to think that men who murder children are an aberration even in a terrorist movement. That perhaps the terrorists who murdered the Fogel family did not deliberately target children. It would be nice to think that we live in a world where such acts are an aberration rather than a tactic. Sadly that isn’t so. We live next door to evil. And it is vital that we see that and not look away.
Almost 10 years ago to the date, Mahmoud Mahmed Mahmoud Amrou set up a sniper rifle and took aim at a mother and father walking with a stroller. In the stroller was their baby daughter. She was 10 months old. Mahmoud had three targets in front of him. The parents were the easiest targets. Instead Mahmoud took aim and shot a 10 month old little girl in the head.
Consider the head of an adult and a child. Which is easier to hit from a distance? Her parents were young. Her father capable of military service. Her mother could still have more children. Even from the tactical standpoint of a terrorist, they were better targets. But Shalhevet Pass, the 10 month old baby girl was the one he shot in the head. Her father suffered leg injuries because the bullets were aimed at the level of the stroller.
Mahmoud Amrou was no random serial killer. He was a member of the Tanzim militia, a terrorist arm of the Palestinian Authority which crosses over extensively with the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. He confessed that the attack had been ordered by Tanzim and Al-Aqsa commander Marwan Zaloum. The terrorist atrocities of these Fatah terrorist groups were backed at the highest level of the Palestinian Authority. And when Palestinian Authority leader Abbas was campaigning in 2002 in Hebron, he called out, “Mercy on the souls of all the martyrs. Mercy on the soul of Marwan Zaloum.”
But the backing for it goes even higher than that. The Clinton and Bush Administrations both held meetings with Tanzim leaders. When Tanzim and Al-Aqsa leader Marwan Barghouti was arrested, Condoleezza Rice herself called for him to be freed. Newspaper articles presented Barghouti as a “moderate” and the only hope for the peace process.
The murder of Shalhevet Pass, a 10 month old baby in a stroller, had not just been a random killing. It was another act of terror from the Palestinian Authority’s own terrorist organization, many of whose members had been armed and trained by Western security forces. It was part of a strategy targeting Israeli families and their children which goes back for over 50 years of atrocities.
March 2, 2002. A Bar Mitzvah celebration was winding down in Jerusalem. It was a balmy Sabbath evening. Outside mothers stood waiting with their children in strollers. The suicide bomber mingled with them. A bomb vest under his clothes. He insinuated himself as close as he could to the children. Then the blast. The dead included the Nehmad family, both parents and and two of their daughters, 3 year old Liran and 7 year old Shiraz. Along with their 18 month old cousin, Oriah and her 12 old brother who had been sent by his father to get the car keys. Also killed was Tzofia Eliyahu and her 7 month old son.
The mothers and their children had been deliberately targeted. Most of the murdered were Mizrahi Jews who had fled Muslim countries and returned to their own homeland. Only to fall prey to Muslim terror in Jerusalem. Only to die with their children in front of a synagogue. As so many Jews in the Muslim died had been killed over more than a thousand years.
Such attacks too were not an aberration. Next year two Muslim terrorists were caught planning to detonate a 20lb bomb belt outside the entrance of a junior high school at the end of the school day when all the children were leaving. Munir Mohammed Rabiah, one of the terrorists, was caught hiding out in a mosque. Both he and Morad Zeitoun were members of Palestinian Authority security forces.
The Muslim terrorist gangs who called themselves Palestinians had built their cause on acts of terror like these going back long before there was a Green Line and when Gaza and the West Bank were still in Egyptian and Jordanian hands. The gangs were called Fedayeen, they operated out of Syria, Egypt and Jordan and disavowed any independent Palestinian nationality or state. Their backing came from the Soviet Union, and they identified themselves as Marxists or Communists. Their goal was to cross the border and carry out massacres of civilians.
On April 11, 1956, the Fedayeen burst into a village farm school filled with almost 50 young boys. The killers opened fire and then ran for it. It was another epochal moment in what would become the “Palestinian struggle”. Except there was no such thing yet. The terrorists of the day were gangs who had fled after the Arab invasion failed to crush Israel. Their attacks were carried out on the orders of the Egyptian government. It would not be until after the 1973 Yom Kippur War, when it had become clear that conventional Muslim armies could not destroy Israel, that the ‘Palestinian’ cause would become the defining brand of the terrorist gangs.
Under the supervision of the Soviet Union, a new wave of terror followed that defeat. The targets were once again families and children.
April 11th, 1974. On the exact same date as that attack, three terrorists crossed the border from Lebanon. The date match was not a coincidence. Numerology is second nature even among devout Muslims. The 11th day of the month is a popular date for Muslim terrorist attacks. The World Trade Center was hit on September 11th and Madrid on March 11th. And it was a key date in the development of Pakistan’s nuclear program.
In Arabic the numerical value of Mohammed adds up to 92. In the Koran, Surah 47 is known as the Surah of Mohammed and it has 38 verses. Add 9 + 2 and you get 11. Add 4 to 7 and you get 11. Add 3 to 8 and you also get 11. Take the 99 names of Allah and divide them by 9, another key number in Islam, and you get 11. (The numerical value of Allah is 66). These seem like trivial things– yet thousands of people have died because of the number of letters in Mohammed’s name and the number of verses in in his Surah in the Koran. A reminder of how indivisible even the trivial numbers in the Koran are from the slaughter carried out on its instructions.
For the people of Kiryat Shmona going about their lives, the number 11 would be a fateful one. The terrorists’ first target was an elementary school named after Janusz Korczak, the Polish-Jewish orphanage director who chose to die with his charges in Treblinka during the Holocaust. But the Muslim numerology of the terrorists frustrated their planned massacre. April 11th was Passover and the school building was empty. Its pupils enjoying their holiday vacations. So instead the terrorists invaded a nearby apartment building. When the fighting was over, 8 children and as many adults lay dead.
A month later, the next effort at a school massacre was more successful. After cutting a hole in the border fence, another terrorist gang entered the town of Ma’alot and pounded on apartment doors, claiming to be the police. Joseph Cohen, a forester, opened the door. The terrorists killed him and his seven months pregnant wife, along with his 4 year old son, Eliyahu, and wounded his 5 year old daughter, Miriam.
From there it was on to the school where over a hundred high school students had been on a field trip. Some escaped, the rest became hostages. As in Beslan, plastic explosive charges were placed among the students. They demanded the release of imprisoned terrorists. The code word for their demands was Al-Aqsa. Israel tried to meet their demands, but the deadline ran out. As the terrorists began executing the girls, Israeli commandos stormed the school and disarmed the explosives under fire. Most of the students survived, but 22 teenagers died. Most of them young girls deliberately chosen by the followers of the misogynistic cult of Islam.March 11th, 1978. The Coastal Road Massacre or the Bloody Bus. Another numerological tribute of blood to Mohammed. 11 terrorists landed on a beach, shot up a taxi, hijacked a bus on an outing for employees of the bus company and their families. Using them as human shields, the terrorists shot and threw grenades at passing cars. The attack was taking place too deep inside Israel and there were no military units in place to defend against it. Instead a few dozen traffic cops armed with handguns set up a barricade. One of the passengers wrested a gun from the terrorists and shot two of them. The remaining terrorists suicided, setting the bus on fire.
Reporters described a scene of horror. “A child aged seven or eight was lying on the asphalt, a bullet hole in its head.” Parents lost their children. And children lost their parents. Among the dead were 5 year old Erez Alfred along with his father. Habib Ankwa had volunteered to serve as a translator and mediator for the terrorists. He was shot in the stomach. Along with him died his 10 year old son Yitzchak and his 2 year old daughter, Galit. Along with them died 6 year old Liat Gal-On (pictured to the side), 5 year old Naama Hadani in her mother’s arms, 6 year old Yoav Meshkel and 9 year old Mordechai Zit. Joseph and Rebecca Hochman were riding with their two sons, 3 year old Ilan and 6 year old Roi. While her husband fought off the attackers, Rebecca was killed along with her two sons. Her husband lost the use of his legs and was awarded the medal of courage.
For Israel this was a day of horror, for Muslims a day of triumph. The Palestinian Authority has named dozens of events and locations after Dalal Mugrhabi, one of the female terrorists who reportedly dragged a baby that a mother was trying to throw out of the burning bus back inside. Including a USAID funded school. Last year as the Obama Administration was going to war with Israel over some new housing in Jerusalem, the Palestinian Authority was going ahead with plans to name a square after her. Al Jazeera’s report describes the massacre as “the day a passenger bus became a fully sovereign independent republic for four hours”. And that independent republic of gloating Muslim killers and murdered families aptly foreshadowed what a Palestinian state would be like.
With the creation of a Palestinian state, bus massacres would become commonplace. But even before that, there was the Avivim School Bus massacre. The terrorist gangs had memorized the schedule of the bus as it picked up the village’s children for school. They opened fire on the bus using a bazooka and small arms fire. (Whenever you hear complaints about Israeli disproportionate responses and superior force, remember that in 1970 their terrorists were using bazookas against a school bus.) Nine children between the ages of 7 and 14 died that day. The majority of them from a single family.
And so it has gone on throughout the years. Attacks aimed at children. Attacks meant to strike at the heart of families.
Robert Aroyo had just moved from England to Israel and was driving back to Tel Aviv with his two young children, when a Muslim teenager stepped in front of his car. Robert stopped to avoid hitting him, and the teenager tossed a grenade into an open window. The rest comes from the Time Magazine article.
All he heard was a muffled explosion and Abigail’s cry, “Daddy, Daddy!” The back seat was bloody when he looked. Beside him Preeti moaned, “My back is broken.” Wasfi Mussa Masharawi watched indifferently as the man staggered out of the car, cradling a bleeding girl in his arms. He ran away when the man pleaded with him for help.
In 1987, the Moses family car was firebombed. The pregnant mother died and her husband and four children were severely burned. A 5 year old lingered on for three months before dying of his injuries. Next year, a bus near Jericho was firebombed. Rachel Weiss burned to death along with her three children whose bodies she covered with her own in a futile attempt to save their lives.
On and on it went.
A terrorist entered Kibbutz Metzer and murdered the Ohayon family, the mother and a 4 and 5 year old boy, while their father listened on the phone. 9 year old Yaakov Manzor, stabbed repeatedly in the chest and abdomen in Jerusalem. 11 year old Yael Ohana murdered in her home along with her mother. Zipporah Sasson, five months pregnant, gunned down next to her husband and children.
The Ozeri family was sitting down to their Sabbath meal when there was a knock on the door. The head of the household opened the door and was the first to die. His 5 year old daughter was wounded. Luckily his Sabbath eve guests were armed. They shot back, killing one of the terrorists. The other terrorist fled and was hunted down by the army.
The Leibowitz family was returning from a Bar Mitzvah when the terrorists ambushed them. 7 year old Noam died and her 3 year old sister was seriously wounded, along with her brother and her grandfather. Steve and Tehiya Bloomberg were also on the road where their car was fired on, killing Tehiya, a local nurse, who was 5 months pregnant. Her 14 year old daughter was left paralyzed. Rabbi Dickstein was murdered along with his wife and 9 year old son.
And then there were the bombings that wiped out entire families in a single moment. The Sbarro pizza bombing killed the Schijveschuurder family, both parents and three children, ages 2, 4 and 14. Along with another 8 year old girl and her mother. A Muslim university in the West Bank commemoration it with an exhibit that allowed its students to walk through a recreation of the pizza store, complete with body parts strewn around the room.
The bombing of the Maxim Restaurant by a Jenin lawyer, who prior to the attack had begun fasting and memorizing the verses of the Koran, wiped out three generations of the Almog family, killing Ruth and Ze’ev Almog, along with their son and two of their grandchildren. Their daughter, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren were wounded but survived. A woman lost her mother and her baby daughter in a suicide bombing at the mall. Mordechai Lapid, dead, three children wounded. The Taba Hilton bombing. A mother and her two sons, ages 3 and 11, all dead.
The list goes on endlessly. A drawn out memorial to the dead.Tali Hatuel, 7 months pregnant, murdered along with her four children. She had been a social worker. Her four daughters, aged 2 to 7, were shot at point blank range. The terrorists continued pumping bullets into their bodies even after they were already dead.
But there must be a place to stop. Some place to say enough is enough. We can say, enough dead, or enough lists. And we say, enough lists instead. Enough reminders. Leave us alone already. An endless parade of evil is too much to bear. It is easier to look away. But these murders were not accidental. Many of them were selected. Families were deliberately targeted. Children were deliberately targeted.
Samir Kuntar murdered a four year old and became a hero of Lebanon. Syria’s president awarded him the Order of Merit, his dictatorship’s highest honor. For bludgeoning a 4 year old girl to death.
During his time in prison, Kuntar got married and picked up a degree in political science. In 2008 he was traded to Hezbollah in return for the bodies of captured Israeli soldiers. In Lebanon, Kuntar received a hero’s welcome. Al Jazeera’s Beirut office chief threw him a party and called him a pan-Arab hero. Is there anything more to say after that?
This is the war against Israel’s families. Its children. It has been going on for generations.
The Muslim world knows that it is weak technologically and organizationally. Its chief weapons are demographics and terror. Arafat called the womb of the Palestinian woman his greatest weapon. Europe’s statisticians are finding that out for themselves. But demographic war is only half the picture. The other half is to destroy non-Muslim families. To murder pregnant women and massacre their children.
See how many pregnant women there are on this incomplete listing? That is not a coincidence. None of this is. Muslim terrorism is genocide. It is a genocidal struggle to conquer and wipe out non-Muslim populations. As in Israel, as everywhere else. Rape is one tool of Muslim demographic warfare. So is murdering pregnant women and children. Destroying families. They have been fighting it since a maddened would-be prophet began his campaign of extermination against a multicultural region.
This is war. Their kind of war. The attacks on schools and on families. The massacre of entire families is a tactic. Acts of evil by a cult too horrifyingly evil for most people to even understand. What evil does best is the exploitation of innocence in order to destroy it. And who are more innocent than the children?