The cease-fire between Palestinians and Israel that was brokered by Egypt on Aug. 7, has been held despite Amir Sidawi, a 26-year-old Palestinian who opened fire with his pistol on Aug. 14, wounding eight.
The shooting took place near the Western Wall in Old City Jerusalem where a parked car and a bus loaded with Jewish worshippers were attacked. The gunfire seriously wounded an American woman from Brooklyn who was shot in the abdomen and taken to the hospital where she delivered her baby in the emergency room.
Of the eight victims who were shot, five were Americans, including an elderly man who was wounded in the neck and back. He was rushed to the hospital where he remained in serious condition at press time.
The attacker, who has a criminal record, turned himself into the police by taking a cab to the police station on Aug. 14.
Israel, an American ally and the only democracy in the Middle East, continues to be attacked by terrorist organizations supported by Iran whose Supreme Leader The Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei who first coined the derogatory epithet, “Great Satan” for the U. S. during his speech on Nov. 5, 1979, after the Iran hostage crisis had begun.
Iran’s leader has branded Israel with the anti-Zionist derogatory epithet, the “Little Satan.”
After being allotted a homeland following World War II, Israel has been under periodic attacks from terrorist groups, but Israel shocked the world by defeating the Arab coalition made up of Egypt, Syria and Jordan in the Six-Day War, also known as the June War, in 1967.
Growing tensions in the region led to the Israelis capturing of the Sinai Peninsula, Gaza Strip, West Bank, Old City Jerusalem and the Golan Heights during six days of the conflict that occurred from June 5, 1967, till June 10, 1967. Tensions leading to the conflict had been escalated by Russia which was arming Syria and providing the Arab nation with disinformation about an impending attack being planned by Israel.
Contributing to the outbreak of war that stunned the international community via the rapidity of the Israelis’ victory was the Israelis’ air strike on the Jordanian-controlled village of Al-Samu on Nov. 13, 1966, which had a population of 4,000 at the time. The attack left 18 dead and 54 wounded.
The reason for Israel’s airstrike on the village was that repeated terrorist attacks had been launched from the village which was situated only three miles from the Israel border.
In April of 1967, the Israeli Air Force shot down six Syrian MiGs, Russian built-fighter-jets, and that military action increased tensions that led to the Six-Day War.
From then till the present, tensions have remained between Arab factions and Israel, the small Middle East nation that is bordered by Arab nations. Eventually, tensions between Israel and Jordan and Egypt were relaxed with the Arab realization that Iran has funded proxy wars that U.S. intelligence reports reveal pits Hezbollah, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad against Israel.
Thus, the Iron Dome, a missile defense system deployed in Israel, continues to be supported by the U.S.
The U.S. has been working to reduce tensions in the Middle East for decades, producing the lessening of tensions most recently via the Abraham Accords during the Trump Administration following the Camp David Accords more than 40 years ago during the Carter Administration that brought Israel’s Menachem Begin and Egypt’s Anwar Sadat together to sign a peace agreement on Sept. 17, 1978.
Two Israeli firms, Rafael Advance Defense Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries, developed the Iron Dome which was pronounced operational on March 27, 2011. The air defense system lived up to its billing in Beersheba where it soon intercepted and destroyed a rocket launched by terrorists from Gaza.
For more than a decade, the Iron Dome has proven effective by intercepting and destroying rockets and artillery shells launched by terrorists, and Israel hopes to expand its current range of 2.5 miles to 43 miles to 2.5 miles to 160 miles.
From 2011 till 2021, the U.S. contributed $1.6 billion to support the Iron Dome. So far in 2022, the Biden Administration has approved another $1 billion in support of the Iron Dome.
On March 10, 2012, “The Jerusalem Post” published a report concerning the Iron Dome’s 90 percent success rate at intercepting and destroying rockets that had been launched at Israel’s population centers.
Prior to the increased terrorists’ attacks on Israel from Gaza during the first week of Aug., the Iron Dome had been credited with intercepting and destroying more than 2,000 terrorists’ rockets and artillery shells.
The Iron Dome continues to save lives as the most sophisticated and effective air defense system on Earth. During the past month, another 350 rockets have been launched from the Gaza Strip by terrorists targeting Israel’s population centers, forcing thousands of Israelis citizens to retreat to bomb shelters overnight.
A Palestinian Islamic Jihad rocket fell short of reaching its intended target in Israel on Aug. 6. It exploded at a Palestinian’s home in the northern part of the Gaza Strip, in Jabliya. The blast killed seven, including four children according to the Israelis’ report.
Israel launched retaliatory strikes on the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group’s tunnels on the Gaza Strip. By Sunday, Aug. 7, the Palestinian death toll had reached 43.
An Egyptian-brokered cease-fire was agreed upon between the warring factions on Aug. 7, at 11:30 p.m. (2030 GMT; 4:30 p.m. EDT). Israel vowed to respond strongly should the cease-fire be broken. A reported eight Israelis were killed during the recent fighting.
On Sun., Aug. 14, Sidawi’s shooting of eight civilians at the Western Wall in Old City Jerusalem near David’s Tomb at Mt. Zion has renewed tensions.
U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides confirmed that five American citizens were wounded during the shooting.
The 30-year-old woman whose baby has been delivered remains in serious condition in the hospital, and the elderly American man who was shot in the neck and back on Aug. 14, remains in serious condition too.
Israel’s strong response to the shooting was to deploy troops and armor to its border with Gaza. It remains unknown if an Israeli attack on the terrorists in Gaza is being planned.
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