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An Inside Look At Jerusalem Just Prior To The Bus Stop Bombings 

Canadian-Israeli Yeshiva student Aryeh Shechopek murdered by terrorists

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A Canadian by birth, Aryeh Shechopek z’l” was murdered by a terrorist bomb while waiting for a bus to take him to seminary. (Photo: Chabad.org)

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A coordinated terrorist attack on Jerusalem targeting  the Wednesday morning rush hour killed a Canadian teenager and wounded around 2 dozen bystanders, including one of his friends who is fighting for his life in the hospital. In the first of two bombings, Aryeh Shechopek was murdered at a crowded bus stop near the Givat Shaul neighborhood at the entrance to the city just after 7 a.m.

A resident of Har Noff who held dual citizenship, the 16 year old Shechopek (some sources spell his name Schupak) was on his way to Yeshivas Pisgat Yitzchak in Moshyav Beit Meir. Behadrei Haredim website reported that he had insisted on going to study even though he felt sick, and that his mother urged him to stay home. Aryeh was the second child born to a family of Russian immigrants who converted to Orthodox Judaism while living in Edmonton, family friend Avigail Salter, 26, told the Star.

Outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said, “He was a boy who never wronged anyone in the world, and he was murdered simply because he was Jewish.” 

Chabad.org reported that 26 people were injured in total, among them 18-year-old Naomi Pilichowski, a dual citizen of the United States and Israel who was waiting near Shechopek for a bus to Bet Shemesh. Her mother, Aliza, is mayor of the town of Mitzpeh Yericho in Judea, and her father is a columnist for The Jerusalem Post and works for Nefesh B’Nefesh. The second bombing was at 7:30 a.m. at the Ramot Junction in the northern part of the capital, with three victims slightly wounded from shrapnel. In both incidents, abandoned bags were detonated by remote control.

A day before a horrific terror attack hit Jerusalem, I was in the area of the terror attack together with Miri Eisin, who is a retired colonel of the Israel Defense Forces with a military intelligence background. She delivered us detailed information regarding the history of Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians and the surrounding Arab states, as if foreshadowing what is to come. While walking through the densely populated and tense streets of Jerusalem we felt agiotage in the narrow streets of the Old City. 

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We went to the Walter & Elise Haas Promenade. This promenade is the scenic lookout point in Jerusalem. From this elevated point we saw the city’s iconic landmarks, such as the Mount of Olives, Temple Mount, the City of David and in the distance the Hebrew University of Jerusalem which is located on Mount Scopus. Next to this promenade we took a look at the UN base which has been used as the headquarters for the UN observers since 1948. The United Nations Truce Supervision Organization was founded during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war and its main task was to enable the peacekeepers to control the ceasefire in the Middle East.

Later on, we drove through the narrow road with tall security walls from both sides. Miri Eisin told us that the road leads to Rachel’s tomb. Before entering that street an officer of Israel Border Police stopped the bus and demanded the passports of everyone for security measures. Then, she entered the bus to thoroughly check the bus. Israeli security forces understand the reality in Jerusalem and know that terror attacks may happen at anytime.

After passing the checkpoint we continued on our way. Earlier on, prior to Wednesday’s bombings, two terrorist attacks happened in Jerusalem. It is routine for terrorists to leave bags at the bus stops and the bombs are then activated remotely leaving behind dozens of people injured. The checkpoints in Jerusalem reminded me of the ones that I saw when I visited Aghdam and Shusha before coming to Israel. Azerbaijani soldiers stopped the bus and required IDs of all passengers before letting them enter liberated territories. These measures are taken primarily to prevent any kind of attacks that can harm civilians. 

Miri Eisin spoke about the 1949 armistice agreements that were signed between Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. In 1948, Arab states attacked the newly established Jewish state when the late Prime Minister Ben-Gurion declared the establishment of the State of Israel. The agreements that were signed in 1949 formally ended the Arab-Israeli war. According to the demarcation or the Green Line, the Old City of Jerusalem remained under the control of Jordan until the Six-Day War in 1967. 

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In 1967, when again Arab states launched an attack to wipe the State of Israel off the map, heroic Israeli soldiers pushed the enemy soldiers back and liberated the Old City including the Western Wall from Jordan. The Israeli army radio broadcasted the famous sentence “Har Habayit Beyadenu” which means the Temple Mount is in our hands. Israel’s return to eastern Jerusalem in 1967 resembled Azerbaijan’s momentous return to Shusha in 2020. The significance of Jerusalem for Jewish Israelis is like how important Karabakh is for Azerbaijanis.

Afterwards, I accidentally went via the Damascus Gate which is considered as one of the  dangerous gates to enter due to the high chance of terror attacks. There, the security is lax. 

Going through the Muslim quarter I saw arabs selling souvenirs and food, praying namaz and shouting loudly to each other. Then I passed through a checkpoint to enter the Jewish quarter. I felt much safer in the Jewish quarter compared to Muslim quarter because the security guards check thoroughly the visitors before entering the Western Wall.    

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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

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