Paramedics treating victims at the scene of a terror attack in Gush Etzion in the West Bank on November 19, 2015.
(photo credit: MAGEN DAVID ADOM)
The Anti-Defamation League issued a statement on Thursday, calling the terror attacks in Tel Aviv and Gush Etzion "the bloodiest day in Israel since this latest round of Palestinian violence began back in September."
"The ongoing violence is the stark reality of terrorism in Israel today as Jews are brutally attacked while praying, driving on roads, walking in the streets and generally going about their daily lives," ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement.
The statement also made links between the recent wave of international terror attacks by ISIS, saying "while there are differences between this wave of terror in Israel and the large-scale attacks carried out by Islamic extremists in places like Paris, Beirut and the Sinai, both are carried out by individuals who have no just cause and are motivated by pure hatred and intolerance to harm innocent people. Bigotry, anti-Semitism and bias are clearly the source of this horrific wave of violence."
The statement criticized the Palestinian government and media for their continued incitement and refusal to condemn the terror attacks plaguing Israel in recent months.
"If President Abbas is serious about cracking down on Palestinian violence, he must do so both in action and words."
"We express our deepest condolences to all of the victims, including to the family of 18 year-old Ezra Schwartz from Sharon, Massachusetts who tragically lost his life today," the statement concluded by saying.
Ezra Schwartz, an 18-year old American on a gap year in Israel was among three victims of a terror attack late Thursday afternoon
at the Gush Etzion junction in the West Bank. Seven others were lightly wounded in the attack.
He was in a van with five others friends from the Beit Shemesh yeshiva where he studied. They had been in the area to distribute food to soldiers stationed in the region.
A Palestinian who drove from the direction of the Kfar Etzion junction, machined gunned the cars, with an automatic rifle, before hitting a vehicle. Security forces surrounded the terrorist and arrested him.
Magen David Adom paramedics pronounced Schwartz dead at the scene. His five friends were evacuated to the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, three were treated for light injuries and two for shock. They were all released.
A second victim from the attack, Palestinian Shadi Arafeh, 24, of Hebron, was also pronounced dead at the scene.
Yaakov Don, 51, a teacher and father of four who lived in the nearby Alon Shvut settlement was evacuated to Hadassah Medical Center in serious condition and was pronounced dead upon his arrival at the hospital.
The United States said it considered the attack to be an act of terrorism.
"We condemn these terrorist attacks against innocent civilians in the strongest possible terms," Edgar Vasquez, a spokesperson for the State Department, told The Jerusalem Post.
"As we’ve made clear, we remain deeply concerned about the situation," he said, "and continue to urge all sides to take affirmative steps to restore calm and prevent actions that would further escalate tensions.”
Earlier on Thursday, a Palestinian terrorist stabbed three people in south Tel Aviv, killing two of them and wounding another.
Police said that the terrorist attempted to flee the scene, but was apprehended by civilians who subdued him until police forces arrived on the scene. The suspect was arrested and taken in for questioning.