14 Days: Terror attacks

Israeli news highlights from the past two weeks.

 Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky (photo credit: WIKIPEDIA)
Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky
(photo credit: WIKIPEDIA)

Jerusalem Report logo small (credit: JPOST STAFF)Jerusalem Report logo small (credit: JPOST STAFF)


Four Israelis were killed and several wounded in a terrorist car-ramming and stabbing attack at a gas station and shopping center in Beersheba on March 22. The victims were Rabbi Moshe Kravitsky, 50, a Chabad emissary who ran a local soup kitchen and was married with four children; Doris Yahbas, 49, a resident of Moshav Gilat married with three children; Lora Yzhak, 43, who worked at the shopping center and was married with three children; and Menachem Yehezkel, 67, a resident of Beersheba. The terrorist, who was shot dead by a passerby, was identified as Muhammad Abu al-Kiyan, a Bedouin teacher from Hura who served time in an Israeli prison for promoting ISIS to students at the school in which he taught. On March 27, two Border Police officers – Yezen Falah, 19, and Shirel Abukarat, 19 – were killed and several others wounded in a shooting attack in Hadera. The two terrorists, supporters of Islamic State, were shot dead by undercover officers who were eating at a nearby restaurant.


Foreign Minister Yair Lapid hosted a summit in Sde Boker on March 27 and 28 with his counterparts from the US, Egypt, the UAE, Bahrain and Morocco. The rare summit in Israel was attended by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who sought to reassure US allies over the Iran deal being negotiated by world powers in Vienna. Whether or not the deal happens, “our commitment to the core principle of Iran never acquiring a nuclear weapon is unwavering,” Blinken said. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett told Blinken before the summit that he hoped Washington “will hear the concerned voices from the region, Israel’s and others.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addresses Israeli Knesset, public, in this image from Tel Aviv's Habima Square, March 20, 2022. (credit: NOAM MOSKOVITZ/KNESSET)Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addresses Israeli Knesset, public, in this image from Tel Aviv's Habima Square, March 20, 2022. (credit: NOAM MOSKOVITZ/KNESSET)

In a video address to Knesset members on March 20 screened live to thousands of Ukraine supporters in Tel Aviv’s Habima Square, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pleaded for help from “the people of Israel” against what he termed Russia’s “final solution” for Ukrainians. “The Russians use the terminology of the Nazi party,” said Zelensky, who is Jewish. “They want to destroy everything.” Thanking Israel for its mediation and urging it to provide the Iron Dome to protect Ukrainian civilians, he asked, “What is this: apathy, calculation or mediation without picking a side? One may mediate between countries but not between good and evil.... Why has Israel refrained from sanctions on Russia?” 


Israel opened a NIS 21 million ($6.5 million) field hospital in Ukraine in the small town of Mostyska, outside Lviv, in western Ukraine, on March 22. A joint effort of the Health Ministry, the Foreign Ministry and Sheba Medical Center, it is funded by the Israeli government, the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies and the Joint Distribution Committee. The field hospital, which serves Ukrainian refugees and locals, and trains local medical teams in telemedicine and field medical care, operates under the name “Kohav Meir” (Shining Star) after former Israeli prime minister Golda Meir, who was born in Ukraine and founded the Foreign Ministry’s Agency for International Development Cooperation (Mashav), which is leading the field hospital project.

 Ukrainian athlete Valentyna Kiliarska, 32, won the Jerusalem Marathon. (credit: JERUSALEM MARATHON) Ukrainian athlete Valentyna Kiliarska, 32, won the Jerusalem Marathon. (credit: JERUSALEM MARATHON)

Valentyna Kiliarska, 32, an athlete from Ukraine who fled to Poland with her 11-year-old daughter, won the women’s race in the Jerusalem “Winner” Marathon on March 25, finishing in 2:45:54. Ethiopian-born Israeli athlete Ageze Guadie, 32, won the men’s race in 2:37:17.


Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, a spiritual leader of Israel’s haredi Orthodox community, died on March 18 in his Bnei Brak home at 94. He was buried two days later in Bnei Brak in what was said to be the biggest funeral in Israel’s history, attended by almost a million people. Born in Pinsk, Kanievsky moved with his family to Palestine and married Batsheva Elyashiv, daughter of Rabbi Yosef Sholom Eliashiv. Known as “the Prince of Torah,” he was considered the de facto leader of the Lithuanian haredi community. He was the spiritual guide for the nonprofit Belev Echad, dedicated to assisting the sick and disabled. President Isaac Herzog said Kanievsky’s love of Torah, humility, modesty and spiritual leadership will be forever missed, and called him “the greatest Torah scholar of our generation.”