On Israel’s Memorial Day, Remember Yaakov Fadida

April 18 2018

Today is Yom Hazikaron, the day on which Israel remembers those who fell in its wars—and that serves as the prelude to Independence Day, which begins this evening. For this occasion, Ofer Aderet tells the story of Yaakov Fadida, a Jewish boy from Tiberias who was only fifteen in 1948, when the War of Independence broke out. The local Haganah commander Nahum Av repeatedly rejected Fadida as too young when he tried to enlist, finally telling him that there weren’t enough guns to go around. But Fadida, eager to join his older brothers in fighting for his nascent country, persisted. (Free registration may be required.)

The next day Fadida came back with a pistol. “Since I heard you didn’t have enough guns on your hands, I laid an ambush at the entrance to the Arab neighborhood and when an armed Arab came by I surprised him, threatened him with a knife, and took his gun from him,” Fadida told Av. After Av took away his pistol, Fadida once again took a pistol from its Arab owner. “Having no choice, Yaakov was added to the group of fighters,” says Av.

Av described one of the heroic acts attributed to little Fadida as “saving a number of fighters from certain death.” This happened when an armored bus carrying equipment to a besieged position in the city ran over a landmine. The bus caught fire and Arab fighters began shooting at the occupants.

Fadida and his comrades were sitting in a nearby position and could see what was happening. The fifteen-year-old . . . collected hand grenades from his fellow soldiers, climbed over the roofs of the nearby houses, approached the Arab positions, and began throwing grenades at them. “A panic broke out among the Arabs, the shooting stopped, some of them were wounded and the rest abandoned their positions and fled for their lives,” Av recounts. “When the shooting stopped, Yaakov called on our guys to come out of the burning armored bus and directed them [to safety].”

Fadida was killed in battle on April 22, 1948, possibly by friendly fire.

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Read more at Haaretz

More about: Israel & Zionism, Israeli history, Israeli War of Independence, Yom Ha-Zikaron

Terror Returns to Israel

Nov. 28 2022

On Wednesday, a double bombing in Jerusalem left two dead, and many others injured—an attack the likes of which has not been seen since 2016. In a Jenin hospital, meanwhile, armed Palestinians removed an Israeli who had been injured in a car accident, reportedly murdering him in the process, and held his body hostage for two days. All this comes as a year that has seen numerous stabbings, shootings, and other terrorist attacks is drawing to a close. Yaakov Lappin comments:

Unlike the individual or small groups of terrorists who, acting on radical ideology and incitement to violence, picked up a gun, a knife, or embarked on a car-ramming attack, this time a better organized terrorist cell detonated two bombs—apparently by remote control—at bus stops in the capital. Police and the Shin Bet have exhausted their immediate physical searches, and the hunt for the perpetrators will now move to the intelligence front.

It is too soon to know who, or which organization, conducted the attack, but it is possible to note that in recent years, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) has taken a lead in remote-control-bombing terrorism. Last week, a car bomb that likely contained explosives detonated by remote control was discovered by the Israel Defense Forces in Samaria, after it caught fire prematurely. In August 2019, a PFLP cell detonated a remote-control bomb in Dolev, seventeen miles northwest of Jerusalem, killing a seventeen-year-old Israeli girl and seriously wounding her father and brother. Members of that terror cell were later arrested.

With the Palestinian Authority (PA) losing its grip in parts of Samaria to armed terror gangs, and the image of the PA at an all-time low among Palestinians, in no small part due to corruption, nepotism, and its violation of human rights . . . the current situation does not look promising.

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Read more at JNS

More about: Israeli Security, Jerusalem, Palestinian terror