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Press Release – 3 July 2008

State Zionist Council of Victoria strongly condemns bulldozer terror attack in Jerusalem; Palestinian kills 3 Israelis and injures more than 60

The State Zionist Council of Victoria strongly condemns the terror attack in Jerusalem committed by a Palestinian from East Jerusalem, who commandeered the bulldozer he worked on as an employee of an Israeli construction company, and killed 3 Israelis and injure more than 60.

The terror attack occurred on Jaffa Street, one of the city’s busiest thoroughfares at noon on Wednesday (7pm AEST).

Driving the heavy bulldozer against the traffic from the nearby construction site of Jerusalem’s light rail project for about 500 meters, the terrorist chose his victims deliberately – starting his attack by motioning for 54 year old Elizabeth Goren Friedman to precede him, then crushing her vehicle with the bulldozer’s shovel.

The terrorist continued on his horrific rampage by targeting and running down pedestrians; rammed 2 public buses carrying some 50 passengers, overturning one of them, and crushed pedestrians and cars.

Among the terrorists’ victims were a 6-month old baby girl, Efrat Unterman and her 33 year old mother, Batsheva Unterman. Eyewitnesses told police that Batsheva saved her baby by passing her out of the car window to a bystander, seconds before the bulldozer crushed her to death. The baby sustained injuries and was taken to hospital.

The attack set off a panic in the area as traffic was halted and hundreds of people, including Australians fled through the streets. The terrorist was only stopped when shot by a young off-duty soldier and uniformed anti-terrorist policeman at close range; however he had already managed to fatally crush the car of third victim, Jean Relevy, aged 68.

Dr Danny Lamm, SZCV President, just back from a trip to Israel, denounced terror acts against innocent Israeli civilians in the strongest terms, citing hateful extremism as the motive. “Once again, Israel’s capital, Jerusalem, a tolerant city shared by Jews and Arabs that guarantees freedom of movement for all its residents, has been the target of violent extremism, just like the attack at religious seminary, Yeshivat Merkaz HaRav less than four moths ago. The terrorists are driven by a blind hate for Israelis, Jews, indeed all non-Moslems, and are wholly committed to their brutality” he said.

Dr Lamm also called on those who value pragmatism and peace to make their voices heard against such acts of terror. “The State Zionist Council of Victoria calls for clear and unequivocal condemnations of terrorism against Israeli civilians. Concrete actions against terror organizations and their supporters must be taken, so that the extremists know that there will be no tolerance for these kind of barbaric acts which we have just seen in Jerusalem” he remarked.

Israel faces this latest terror in the midst of its peace efforts. The attack today comes as Israel is actively pursuing peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. It also puts strain on the Egyptian-brokered 2-week old truce with Hamas in the Gaza Strip; although rockets continue to be fired from Gaza into Israel’s southern communities.

Photos: Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs

For more information contact:
SZCV Executive Director, Ginette Searle 9272 5544
SZCV Director of Public Affairs, Elly Shalev 9272 5519; 0400-313197
The State Zionist Council of Victoria leads and encourages Jewish and Zionist activity and expression within Victoria, to represent the Jewish community, to promote and communicate Israel’s interests within the broader Victorian community and to promote Victoria’s relationship with Israel. For more information, please visit the State Zionist Council of Victoria website