Mother of stabbed Israeli says peace is not possible


Odel Bennett was walking through Jerusalem's Old City last Saturday when she and her husband, Aharon, were set upon by a Palestinian armed with a blade.

Minutes later, Mrs Bennett found herself running down an alley with a knife stuck in the base of her neck, desperately seeking help.

But the help never came, she told Israel's Channel 2 in an interview from her hospital bed.

"I screamed, I begged for aid," said Mrs Bennett, 22, a strictly Orthodox mother of two.

"They stood chatting and laughing - they spat at me," she said of the Palestinians in the alley. One man continued drinking cola out of a can, she said; others shook her off when she tried to hold onto them to lift herself off the ground.

"I was looking for one glimmer of mercy in their eyes," she said.

Aharon, 21, was killed in the attack, along with Rabbi Nehemia Lavi, 41, who heard the commotion in the alley below his apartment and went outside to try to help the Bennetts. The Bennetts' two-year-old son, Natan, was wounded in the leg. The assailant was fatally shot by police.

That attack followed the shooting of Eiran and Naama Henkin while driving near the settlement of Itamar on Thursday night.

Their children, who were in the back of their car during the incident, were unharmed.

The Palestinian attackers dropped a gun on the road during their assault and were quickly traced by the Shin Bet. They were found to be members of a Hamas cell.

Some 10,000 people, including a number of government ministers, gathered in Jerusalem's Har Hamenuchot cemetery on Friday afternoon for the funeral of the Henkin couple. Matan, their nine-year-old son, said the kaddish prayer on stage.

"Terror has never shook our foundation, and it will never shake our hold on this land. That's how it was, is, and will be," said Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, who told the West Bank settlers they were on the "front lines" of a "cruel terror offensive".

At the funeral for Mr Bennett and Rabbi Lavi on Sunday, Mrs Bennett's mother said that Aharon had promised his wife "the happiest Succot ever.

"Whoever speaks about peace is stupid, there's no other word. The people of Israel need to wake up."

Following an apparent lull in the violence at the beginning of the week, Wednesday saw another spike in attacks, with five serious incidents. Those included three stabbings.

In the past 11 days of violence, five Palestinians have been killed, including a 13-year-old boy from a refugee camp in Bethlehem who locals said was shot in the chest by Israeli soldiers as he was walking home from school.

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