I just saw the picture of Staff Sgt. Maj. Ha’il Satawi holding his now two weeks old son in his arms. The picture had been taken at the hospital, a short time after birth. A picture filled with tenderness, love, protection and trust.
I imagine Ha’il checking on his baby son when he comes home from work at night, and dreaming about his future.
The picture made me furious and terribly sad.
Nothing will be as he wished. All plans made by Ha’il and his wife were destroyed the day before yesterday, in a brutal act of terror. His parents, his wife and his three brothers must learn how to live with that fact. Ha’il began his military service with the border police and afterwards, in 2012, he started his regular service with the unit in charge of security on the Temple Mount.
The second victim, Staff Sgt. Maj. Kamil Snaan, the younger of the two, was not yet married. An engagement party for him and his girlfriend had been planned this week as a surprise. His sudden death is certainly traumatic for the young woman. Nor are his parents, his brother and his three sisters able to grasp the unthinkable. Kamil had been serving with the unit for only seven months.
They were comrades in arms in the service of the State of Israel. Their daily task was to look after visitors to the Old City and in particular visitors to the Temple Mount. They performed their work with prudence and extreme concentration. The service near the Temple Mount is particularly hard. Tensions can erupt at any time and turn into uncontrollable, excessive violence.
Both murder victims were Druze. The relationship between Druze and Jews is good. The Druze refused to be excluded from the military service and serve either with the IDF, but also with the Border Police. Until a short time ago the IDF had a Druze Battalion, but following the soldiers‘ request, it was abolished and integrated into another battalion.
Both murdered policemen were interred on Friday afternoon in their home village. Both were living in a mixed Jewish-Arab-Druze village in the Galilee. Colleagues, friends and politicians of all parties participated in the moving ceremonies.
One of the distinguishing features of Israel is that whenever a soldier or policeman is murdered on the job, which regrettably is no seldom occurrence, no friend, colleague or politician will refrain from participating in the funeral, even if Shabbat starts two hours later.
There is a video that shows the attack. Ha’il and his colleague are sitting, relaxed, at their guard post, the obligatory Styrofoam container with cold water nearby. It is Friday morning; it is still early, around seven a.m. And it is hot. A few hard hours stretch out before them, but then they go home. Suddenly there are murderers – terrorists. They come from the direction of the Temple Mount, taking into account that just before they storm the narrow passage a man walks towards them.
They attack the two policemen insidiously, and severely wound them. A third policeman is lightly wounded. The two severely wounded men are given first aid on the spot, but soon after they arrive at the hospital, they die from their wounds.
The attackers flee, seeking out protection on the Temple Mount. They fall, one of them stands up and tries attacking policemen again, but now he is neutralized – as one can clearly hear – by well-aimed fire. Should additional policemen have died instead of the three terrorists? The video immediately finds its way to the Internet.
The police promptly sealed off the Temple Mount. There would be no prayers there this Friday. It was not harassment of Muslims that made this procedure necessary. It was the concern as to whether additional weapons had been smuggled on to the Temple Mount, as was obviously the case here.
Furious Muslims who still believed they were right, conducted their Friday prayers on the parking lot next to the southern Lions Gate. The Temple Mount will presumably be reopened to the public on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Mufti of Jerusalem seems to have been running around the Temple Mount like crazy in the hope of finding some loophole allowing him to enter the plateau. Instead, he was arrested and freed only after several hours with a cautionary fine of NIS 10,000. All the time he had been asking, snarling, demanding and requiring that the Temple Mount be immediately reopened to all Muslims.
Jordan protested and demanded the immediate re-opening of the Temple Mount, neither was Abbas able to refrain from adding his veto; the Arab League protested vehemently and warned not to change the „status quo“ on the Temple Mount (which had already been promised by PM Netanyahu). But they did not condemn the terrorist act. One can only be curious as to when the UN will say something.
The three terrorists come from the Town of Um-el-Fahm in the center of Israel, which is known as the nucleus of Hamas terror in the country. They were Israeli citizens. The traditional tent which Arabs erect for mourning ceremonies, was destroyed on Saturday morning by policemen. That is as it should be.
Yesterday UN Watch spread this article via Twitter: http://www.timesofisrael.com/the-first-medic-to-respond-to-the-temple-mount-terror-attack-was-muslim-heres-his-story/. That’s how human beings should be.
© for the pictures: www.ynetnews.com (13–17 July 2017)
© esther scheiner, Israel
© translated by: Translation International, Herzliya