Bang, bang, you're dead . . .
by Angela Bertz
Most children, even those from generations gone by will surely
remember those cute, but chilling little childhood games played
with plastic pretend pistols. Sometimes they were packed with
nothing more harmful than water or a well worn plastic bullet,
chewed several times over by the family dog. The game always
ended when a shrill little childish voice would call out "Bang,
bang your dead" and the hapless victim would fall to the ground
faking death, before running in for lunch.
These days' Palestinian gunmen have been allowed and even get
away with playing a real life version of this game.
On November 27th 2001 two Palestinians lay dead on a street in
Afula. In an almost macabre twist of irony they had been
covered with banners which read "Only Sharon will bring Peace."
The two Palestinians gunmen had opened fire on crowds near the
central bus station. Two young men in their 20's were killed and
almost 50 people were injured.
In August 1929 Sarah Hamburger was five years old. She lived in
On the 23rd of that month heavily armed Arabs ransacked the town
carrying axes, knives, stones and clubs. With only one
policeman in the town the mobs were able to destroy Jewish homes
at random. At the end of three days 67 out of the 800 Jews that
lived in the town lay dead. Sarah Hamburger and her family
survived and reached safety in Jerusalem. On January the 22nd
2002 almost three quarters of a century later a Palestinian
gunman opened fire on a busy Jerusalem street. One of the two
women killed was Sarah. Forty four more were wounded.
On January 17th, 2002 Ninia Kardashov was celebrating her Bat
Mitzvah in a banquet hall in Hadera. It was to be a happy
occasion, celebrating her coming of age. Ninia's transition
from childhood to adulthood was in for a rude awakening. A
Palestinian gunmen gained entrance and with an M-16 Assault
rifle he opened fire, spraying the guest with bullets. Six
people were killed and 30 were wounded.
On March 9th 2002 a Palestinian posing as an Israeli policeman
entered a hotel lobby in Netanya. He was a very unwelcome guest.
Together with an accomplice, the pair of Palestinian gunmen
armed with guns and grenades left the floors stained with the
blood of a nine month old baby and a 27 year old man. Fifty more
On the morning of June 8th, 2002, in an almost unprecedented
move, a police van drove into the religious Moshav of Kfar
Pines. In a community that rarely sees a vehicle on the
Sabbath, worse was to follow. Yehuda Kandel left the synagogue
that morning to the news that his nine month pregnant daughter
Yael and his son in law had been killed by Palestinian gunmen.
The men had infiltrated the Northern Samarian community where
they lived, killing them outright, together with one other
person. Five more had been injured. Yael had been the much
longed for and only daughter in a family of four boys.
July 16th, 2002 saw the death of Israel's youngest victim of
terrorism. He never even had a name. His mother had been
traveling on an armoured bus near the West Bank community of
Emmanuel. Palestinians detonated a roadside bomb and
Palestinian gunmen then sprayed the fleeing survivors with
bullets, killing nine people and wounding 20 more. Yehdit
Weinberg was seriously wounded by no less than seven bullets,
one of them lodging in her groin. By the time she arrived at
the hospital she had lost a lot of blood and was barely
conscious. She mustered the last of her energy to tell the
staff "I have a baby in my belly. Please take care of it." She
never saw the little boy delivered by emergency Caesarean.
Twelve hours later he died.
On July 21st, 2002 residents of Itamar surveyed the Shabo family
home. It was a burnt out shell, walls riddled with bullets. The
day before Palestinian gunmen had burst into their home, killing
Mrs. Shabo and three of her children as well as well as Yossi
Twito, who was head of the community's emergency response team.
Thirteen year old Avia survived four bullets to her chest and
required intensive surgery. Her eight year old brother would
spend months in hospital convalescing, after losing his right leg.
Rabbi Elimelech Shapira was a talented musician, who both played
and composed music on the flute. He was also head of an
academy, Eretz Hazvi that prepared religious youths to serve in
the army. On July 25th, 2002 three small boys held hands with a
family member as they watched Rabbi Shapira's lifeless body
lowered into the ground. They were three of his eight surviving
children. Their father had been killed early that morning by
Palestinian gunmen who had opened fire and ambushed his car.
One other person was seriously wounded in the attack.
On July 29th, 2002, 20 year old Tsvi Yehuda Dickstein would
address more than 1000 mourners at the funeral of his parents
and 9 year old brother. "Father, mother, my sweet Shuv-el, how
can I talk in the past tense of the people I most loved.
Suddenly everything has stopped in the middle," On July 27th,
the Dickstein family was on their way to spend the Sabbath with
friends, when Palestinian gunmen opened fire on their car. One
other person in another car was killed and four people were
Kibbutz Metzer has for years been an example of peaceful
coexistence between Jews and Arabs. Situated within Israel's
green line, it lies at a point so narrowly within the borders
that the kibbutz is surround by several Arab villages and very
close to the Palestinian town of Jenin. On November 10th, 2002
Revital Ohayan was reading her two little boys of four and five
a bedtime story when a Palestinian Gunman fired two shots at the
front door. Once inside he headed towards the bedroom. In a
futile attempt to protect her children from the hail of bullets
she jumped in front, in a vain attempt to protect them. All
three were killed. As the gunman left he shot and killed two
more people. Three thousand people, including Arabs attended
The horrifying events of May 2nd, 2004 went unnoticed at the
United Nations but it is a day that will haunt David Hatuel for
ever. That afternoon two Palestinian gunmen from Rafa, Gaza
were both laying in ambush on the road that leads from the
Jewish settlement bloc of Gush Katif in the Gaza Strip. Tali
Hatuel, eight months pregnant with the couples first son was
traveling on that road with her four young daughters aged
between two to eleven. The gunmen fired at her vehicle forcing
it off the road. They then approached the car killing the eight
month pregnant mother at close range, including shooting her in
the stomach. They then turned their attention to the four
petrified little girls shooting each one several times in the
head. The act was later described by the Palestinians as
"heroic." A week later a large crowd attended a memorial
service at the site of the attack. With no warning at least
three Palestinian gunmen opened fire, shooting indiscriminately
into the crowd. As soldiers and armed residents returned fire,
women and children crouched terrified on the ground.
Barely two weeks have passed since President Katzav attended the
funeral of the latest casualties of a seemingly never ending
supply of Palestinian bullets. Palestinian gunmen opened fire
on an Israeli vehicle, taking the lives of Dov and Rachel Kol as
they traveled near the Gaza border. Palestinian State television
later went on air to applaud the murders, referring to it as an
"act of resistance" and "holy martyrdom." Dov and Rachel's three
children had barely had time to grieve for their murdered
parents before both the French and the Americans were joining
forces in an attempt to persuade Israel to supply the
Palestinians with yet more bullets.
Dozens of Israelis have been tragically slain by Palestinian
gunmen in the last few years. President Abbas is allowed almost
unabatedly to behave like a spoiled child. He has completely
neglected to fulfill any of his responsibilities, yet continues
to make unconditional and suicidal demands on Israel and its
Unbelievably the whole world just coos and pats him on the back.
Angela Bertz, originally from England, made aliya in the
1980s. She has a background in Human Resources.
Our special thanks to the author for submitting this article.
A. G. S.