A worshiper blows a shofar at the Western Wall.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The three widows of Rabbi Nehemiah Lavi, Rabbi Aharon Benita-Bennett and Rabbi Reuven Biermacher, who were all murdered in terrorist attacks in the Old City of Jerusalem last year, have appealed to the public to visit the capital in response to the year-long wave of terrorism which began last fall.
Lavi and Benita-Bennett were killed in the same incident during the Succot holiday last year when a knife-wielding 19-year-old Palestinian attacked Benita-Bennett and his family in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City.
Rabbi Reuven Biermacher was killed by two Palestinian attackers as he left the Old City via Jaffa Gate in December.
The appeal is the initiative of the OneFamily terrorist victim support organization, which says the appeal is also designed as a response to the recent UNESCO resolution on Jerusalem which condemned Israel and ignored Jewish ties to the Temple Mount.
“Here we stand together, the families of the bereaved and terrorism victims from the past year, and invite the Jewish people to come up during Succot this year and visit the Jewish Quarter and the Western Wall,” said Odel Benita- Bennett, Neta Lavi, and the Biermacher family in a joint statement to the press.
“Despite the threats and despite the fear, we ask the Jewish people not to give in to terrorism. As the main purpose of terrorism is to scare us and bring down our spirit, we stand by and ask the Jewish people to proudly march the streets of our historic capital city as we celebrate this holiday of joy and as we commemorate the many murdered over the past year, who all join the chain of generations of the fallen from our nation for Jerusalem, the holy city. Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her, all you who love her.”
The Israel Police stated on Sunday that large-scale preparations had been made in Jerusalem to prepare for security challenges, including additional deployments of Border Police and standard police personnel in the city.
These forces are being stationed in particular throughout the Old City and its alleyways, at sites where large numbers of people congregate, leisure and shopping centers and around synagogues.
In addition, security forces have been bolstered in the so-called “Jerusalem envelope” around the capital to prevent potential terrorists from entering the city.
Chantal Belzberg, director of OneFamily organization described the UNESCO resolution as “outrageous” and called for Jewish unity around Jerusalem and the Western Wall.
“We therefore call out during this holiday of Sukkot, alongside with the families of the terrorism victims to all of the Jewish people to put aside all controversy and unite together at our best connecting source – the sites that are the core of history of our nation.”