“Galilee Freedom Battalion” claims Jerusalem seminary attack

Israeli authorities say the previously unknown Galilee Freedom Battalion was behind the March 6 attack on West Jerusalem’s Mercaz Harav Jewish seminary, and the gunman was an Arab from Jerusalem. (Ma’an News Agency, March 7) Opening fire with a Kalashnikov rifle in a ground-floor library, the gunman killed at least seven students and wounded nine before he himself was gunned down by an Israeli army officer. (NYT, March 7)

It was the deadliest attack on Israeli civilians in nearly two years and the first inside Jerusalem in four. It occurred at the start of the Hebrew month in which the Purim holiday occurs, and many witnesses initially thought the gunfire was firecrackers in celebration at the 84-year-old seminary, which the New York Times calls “an ideological base for the settler movement.”

The yeshiva is a symbol of the national religious strain of Judaism that provides the backbone of the settler movement. After the 1967 war, the national religious movement was the ideological father of the idea of redemption through reclaiming the land. The yeshiva was founded in 1924 by Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, and it is considered an elite institution, with 400 students.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the attack. In Gaza, Hamas denied responsibility, but said in a text message quoted by the Times: “We bless the operation. It will not be the last.”

See our last posts on Israel/Palestine and Jerusalem.

  1. It was only a matter of time
    It was only a matter of time before the Arabs living in israel’s illegally occupied lands resumed resistance to oppression. The day to day indignities they suffer may seem small in comparison to the genocide their brothers and sisters in Gaza face. Thinking Palestinians in enemy occupied “israel” are under no illusion that if the rabid settler movement is allowed to continue, it must only be a matter of time until they all suffer the same fate as the Gazaains.

    1. Massacre in Isreal
      “Isreali Occupation”? hOW CAN THEY BE OCCUPIERS OF WHAT IS LEGALY, MORALLY, AND BIBLICALLY THEIRS? Rabid settlers? More like rabid muslim terrorists! It is not the Isreali’s who chop off heads, hijack planes, and murder the inocent, it is the palestinians and their brother moslims. Any one who reads history and studies what is going on can tell who is a terrorist, and no amount of repeating lies will change that.

      1. A plague on both your houses
        “UreKismet” thinks a massacre of yeshiva students constitutes legitimate “resistance,” while Mr. Anonymous thinks that because God gave the Jews a cosmic real estate deed to Eretz Israel 3,000 years ago the Palestinians have no territorial rights.

        You guys deserve each other. Have fun killing each other for the next several hundred years, jerks.