(photo credit: HAIM ZACH/GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin said the country will use an “iron fist” to stamp out terrorism, during a phone call with Inbar Azrak, the Israeli woman badly burned by a firebomb thrown into her vehicle in east Jerusalem’s Beit Hanina neighborhood Monday night.
Azrak, 27, sustained moderate burns in the attack, while her husband escaped unharmed when the firebomb was hurled into their car by a suspected terrorist, who is still at large.
The couple fled the moving vehicle, which was engulfed in flames, and the vehicle went on to strike a pedestrian, lightly wounding him, before coming to a stop. Another man was lightly wounded while attempting to put out the blaze.
The woman was treated at the scene by Magen David Adom paramedics, before being transferred to Hadassah-University Medical Center in Ein Kerem, where she continues to be treated.
Despite being in severe pain, Rivlin said the woman’s spirits have been buoyed by an attentive medical team and an outpouring of support from the public.
“She told me of the dedicated and professional care she has received from the hospital staff, and of what she called the ‘beauty of the people of Israel,’” said Rivlin.
“I said to her that we will stop the terrorism, and the terrorists, our enemies, who harmed her and the dear people who went to her aid. This is our duty. The citizens of Israel will not live in fear for their lives, and will not change their way of life in the face of the raised sword of terrorism.”
The president added that the nation’s security apparatus remains committed to eradicating terrorism and ensuring order.
“The eradication of terrorism is a moral duty; the duty to preserve life,” he said. “The State of Israel must show an iron fist against those who wish ill to it and its citizens. Israel must ensure that its citizens are able to live in safety, in every part of the land.”
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat echoed Rivlin’s sentiments, stating he will uphold a zero-tolerance policy for violence in the capital, and enhance security in Beit Hanina.
“We will not surrender to terrorism or permit this to change our routine,” he said of the attack.
“Every stone and firebomb thrown is serious terrorist attack.”
Police continue to search for the suspects in Monday’s attack.
Meanwhile, US State Department deputy spokesman Mark C.Toner condemned the Jerusalem attack.
“We wish a swift recovery to her [Azrak] and call on local authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice. It is critical that restraint is exercised by all sides and that provocative actions and rhetoric cease. We call on all sides to lower tensions, and obviously, we discourage any more violence.”