Hamas Celebrates Terror Shooting while Israel Mourns Teenage Victim

A terror shooting in Israel killed a teenage soldier. Illustrative image of M-16 used in prior attack. Photo courtesy of the ISA.

The Hamas terrorist organization on Saturday lauded as “daring” and “courageous” the unprovoked killing of an 18-year-old IDF soldier in a terror shooting at an Israeli security checkpoint earlier that day. The Palestinian group, which terms both political and violent opposition to Israel as “resistance”, showed their true colors after the close-range murder of IDF Sgt. Noa Lazar. Lazar was critically injured in the attack and later declared dead at the hospital, according to the IDF Twitter page.

The Times of Israel reported that video showed the terrorist calmly approaching the checkpoint, firing at close range at security forces having a conversation, and continuing to fire at a wounded person on the ground, before escaping on foot. According to the Israeli Police Twitter page, there was a second Israeli who was also severely injured in the attack, whom The Times of Israel report identified as a civilian security guard.

In a statement posted to Hamas’ Arabic website—but not their English one—the terror group congratulated the terrorist for the attack, calling it “daring” and part of the “ongoing resistance operations.” The official Hamas statement, translated into English by Google, went on to say that the “bullets of the free people know their way towards” hitting the “widespread occupation”, referring to Israel.

One public statement was not enough to celebrate the murder of Lazar, with Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum joining in with his own separate comments referenced in a news report on the group’s Arabic website. The Hamas report, as translated into English by Google, paraphrased Barhoum as calling the attack “courageous” and “heroic.” The article also said Barhoum noted the shooting “confirms that the armed resistance in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem continues and escalates… no matter how great the sacrifices.” The article later reported that Barhoum termed “armed struggle” as a “major approach in confronting” Israel.

The Israelis, by contrast, expressed great sadness at the death of Lazar. “It was with a broken heart that I received the news of the death of IDF combat soldier Sergeant Noa Lazar of the Erez Battalion, who was murdered in a shooting attack by a vile terrorist,” said Prime Minister Yair Lapid in a statement published by Israel on Sunday.

“On my behalf and on behalf of the Government of Israel, I send condolences to her family and friends: there are no words that can ease this terrible loss. We will not rest until we bring these heinous murderers to justice. May her memory be for a blessing.”

The IDF Twitter page similarly mourned the loss of Lazar, expressing their “heartfelt condolences to the family” and echoing the blessing upon her memory.

IDF Chief of the General Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi on Sunday visited with soldiers from Lazar’s battalion and noted—in comments posted to the IDF website—the meeting was “under painful circumstances,” but still an opportunity “express gratitude to you, the commanders and soldiers, for your continuous activity throughout the year,” said Kohavi. He also expressed his condolences to Lazar’s family. “I embrace them at these moments and wish them strength.”

The IDF leader said that they would “need to learn from this incident” so as to prevent it from happening again. Kohavi also told Lazar’s battalion that they, along with other security forces, “constitute our first line of defense. Thanks to your ongoing efforts, terrorist attacks are being prevented and counterterrorism activity is carried out on a daily basis.”

Lapid, in separate comments published by Israel on Saturday night, made it clear that Israel would remain strong ahead of the Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) holiday despite the tragic attack. “This holiday season, significant forces are out, working day and night to defend the citizens of Israel,” said Lapid. “My heart is with the wounded and their families this evening. Terror will not defeat us, we are strong even on this difficult evening.”

(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, October 9, 2022)

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