News and Commentary

Israeli Man Engaged To Be Married Killed By Hamas Terrorist Near Judaism’s Holiest Site
This picture shows the Mughrabi ramp, leading from the Western Wall (Wailing Wall) to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound that includes the Dome of the Rock Mosque (background) in Jerusalem's Old City, on November 17, 2021. (Photo by AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP) (Photo by AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images)

An immigrant to Israel recently engaged to be married died in a terror attack in Jerusalem’s Old City on Sunday.

Eliyahu David Kay, who had immigrated from South Africa to Israel, died after a man identified to be a member of Hamas fired a submachine gun into a crowd of people near the Western Wall outside of the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism. The terrorist wounded three other victims, one in moderate-to-serious condition, according to Israel National News.

The wounded are being treated at nearby hospitals. Security forces killed the terrorist shortly after the shooting began. Israeli authorities are searching for another person thought to be involved in the attack but who got away.

Kay worked as a tour guide for Western Wall Heritage Foundation, leading tours of Jerusalem’s Old City. The foundation eulogized Kay in a statement Sunday:

Eliyahu Kay, a new Oleh from South Africa, was working as a tour guide by the Western Wall before he was murdered this morning in a terrorist attack.

Three others were also moderately to severely injured and were rushed to hospital. The terrorist has been neutralized.

The Western Wall Heritage Foundation and Rabbi of the Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch share their condolences to the bereaved family, saying that Eliyahu would give all those who visited the Western Wall plaza a warm welcome and did his work with dedication and loyalty.

May his memory be blessed.

Israeli authorities closed the Temple Mount to Jews immediately after the attack. Tom Nisani, executive director of Beyadenu, a group dedicated to educating Jews and expanding their access to the Temple Mount, released a statement following the attack.

“Firstly, we all pray for the well-being of those wounded,” Nisani said. “The attack this morning is another wake-up call for the police, security bodies and decision-makers — we will not give up our right to ascend the Temple Mount. Rather, it is incumbent on you to change your perspective and recognize that we are the solution and not the problem. Only sovereignty and full rights for the Jews on the Temple Mount will bring control, peace and quiet.”

“How many more attacks will it take for this to be understood?” he added.

Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack on Sunday. Hamas members in the Gaza strip reportedly began passing out candy in celebration of the terror attack and death of Kay.

Rabbi Zeev Katzenelnbogen was one of the three wounded in the attack. He was returning home from morning prayers when a bullet struck his arm.

“I didn’t really understand what was happening … in a split second I got a really strong pain in the arm right at the spot of the tefillin,” Katzenelnbogen said, according to The Times Of Israel.

“I understand the great miracle, the kindness that God did for me,” he continued. “In a second I could have lost my life and I received it as a gift.

“It’s written that the tefillin are connected to the heart … There’s a connection to God and you feel it, you feel covered, you feel protected,” he said.

Israel Hayom correspondent Ariel Kahana posted a picture of Katzenelnbogen’s tefillin, black boxes equipped with leather straps and containing verses from the Torah, bloody after the shooting.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett warned security forces to watch for copycat attacks during a cabinet meeting on Sunday.

“I have directed the security forces to prepare accordingly and be alert, including over concern for copycat attacks. We need to be on heightened alert and prevent future attacks,” he said.

Related: The Temple Mount Is Judaism’s Holiest Site, And It Always Has Been. Here’s Everything You Need To Know.

This story has been updated with information about Hamas’ response to the terror attack.

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