Many of you know my brother, Todd, is in Israel to share God's love and salvation plan through Christ with the Jews and Arabs there. I just received an email from him about the terrorist attack last night in Jerusalem. You may have heard of it on the news by now, though I'm sure it would have faded into the zillions of others we have heard about. Amazingly enough my brother was very close when this attack occurred. He heard the gunshots and saw the police cars/ambulance go speeding by. He doesn't even live in Jerusalem, just happened to be there for a prayer meeting last night. What I find stunning is that Todd had two roads to choose from last night -- He could go right or go left. He started down the path to the right, but quickly sensed the Lord telling Him to go the other direction. He chose to listen and turned back to follow left. About five minutes later is when he heard the gunshots (which he thought were fireworks at the time). Then the police cars followed. It was only once he was home, and then again this morning listening/reading of the terrorist attack that he pieced together that the attack occurred on the very road he was originally taking. He may or may not have been there at the exact moment had he continued on the road, but chances are he would have been close enough to see it all unfold. Undoubtedly it would have been traumatic. Will you praise God with us for his protection last night? He will be in Israel until Oct. 30th, then will be home for 3 months deciding if he is to return to continue his work there. It may seem foolish after such a close call to even think about returning, but Todd knows God knows best and is Sovereign. If God desires Todd to work for His Kingdom in such an environment, then he wants to continue doing so. Please pray for clear guidance over the next few months, and also for his continued safety as he completes his term there.
Here's the article Todd sent:
The terrorist who rammed his vehicle into a group of soldiers at a central Jerusalem thoroughfare late Monday night has been identified as Kasem Mugrabi, 19, from Jabel Mukaber in east Jerusalem.
Mugrabi wounded fifteen people, before being shot dead by an off-duty IDF officer, police and rescue officials said. It was the third such attack in the city in as many months.
Twelve wounded in the attack were still being treated Tuesday morning, Israel Radio reported. At Hadassah-University Hospital at Ein Kerem one woman was in intensive care in a moderate to serious condition, having undergone surgery overnight. Of another five patients from the terror attack who were in the hospital's care, two will undergo surgery during the day on Tuesday. In Sha'are Tzedek Hospital two IDF soldiers were in a moderate condition, and two soldiers and two citizens were lightly injured.
The attack took place at the city's Kikar Tzahal near Jaffa Gate. The assailant, who was driving a BMW, crashed into a group of off-duty soldiers on the sidewalk, where his car came to a grinding halt.
Jerusalem police chief Aharon Franco said that the attacker was shot dead "within seconds" by an off-duty IDF officer who was touring the city with his unit. He added that there was no intelligence information ahead of the attack, but noted that Jerusalem was under heavy security alert due to Ramadan.
The city's police chief said that the lone attacker was an Arab resident of east Jerusalem. The pedestrians wounded in the attack were rushed to Jerusalem's Hadassah-University Hospital at Ein Kerem, Hadassah-University Hospital on Mount Scopus and the city's Sha'are Tzedek Hospital.
The attack comes after two back-to-back bulldozer attacks in Jerusalem in July which left three Israelis dead and dozens wounded. Half an hour after the attack, dozens of angry haredi residents chased two Arab locals who happened to be in the area. Many chanted racist slogans such as "Death to the Arabs" and tried to walk toward the Arab neighborhoods of east Jerusalem. Police on horseback dispersed the haredim, ensuring that the violence did not escalate.
The attack comes after two back-to-back bulldozer attacks in Jerusalem in July which left three Israelis dead and dozens wounded. Defense Minister Ehud Barak called to expedite legal processes so that security forces could demolish homes of terrorists in order to deter future attacks.
Haim, an American yeshiva student, told the Jerusalem Post he came across the attack as it happened. Haim said he was walking near the Old City and heard gun shots, there was chaos and he saw wounded people on the ground who seemed to be "in pretty bad shape." The young man told the Post that as he was running away, he saw soldiers running toward the scene loading their rifles.