TEL AVIV (Aug. 8)
A 25-year-old Jewish woman from the United States was wounded Tuesday by a terrorist who slipped over the border from Jordan and infiltrated a kibbutz in the Negev.
The intruder, who was dressed in a Jordanian Army uniform, also seized and held hostage a 20-year-old woman, before he was shot and killed by Israel Defense Force soldiers. The woman held hostage, later identified as soldier Osnat Levy, was freed unharmed.
The incident took place on Kibbutz Lotan, located some 30 miles north of Eilat, where Laurie Rosen of Englewood, N.J., was working as a volunteer.
The terrorist encountered Rosen shortly before noon in the kibbutz date orchard and fired his submachine gun at her from a distance of about six yards. As he opened fire, the assailant reportedly shouted in English, “That’s because of my brother.”
Rosen, who was wounded lightly in the shoulder muscle, was taken to Josephthal Hospital in Eilat, where she was reported in satisfactory condition.
A short while after the shooting, Levy was discovered to be missing. Kibbutz members and IDF soldiers who had been summoned to the scene searched the area.
The terrorist was discovered as the searchers approached a toolshed in the orchard. He was holding Levy hostage.
After unsuccessful negotiations for her release, the soldiers stormed the shed, killing the terrorist and freeing Levy.
WAS CONTEMPLATING ALIYAH
Rosen is a second-year medical student at the University of Chicago.
Her brother, Danny, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency in a telephone interview that the family spoke “with my sister and she’s fine.”
Rosen was contemplating aliyah, after visiting Israel for the first time last summer, according to her friend, Zvi Sabin, who was also reached by telephone.
He said he reacted with “shock, and a lump in my throat” when he heard of the incident.
Sabin is the secretary of Garin Arava, a group of young people planning to make aliyah to either Kibbutz Lotan or Kibbutz Yahel, the Reform movement’s two kibbutzim in Israel.
Israel’s border with Jordan is normally quiet, and infiltrations are relatively rare. But the last few months have seen an upsurge of such attacks.
The last occurred on May 27, when a deranged Jordanian soldier crossed into the Beit She’an Valley and wounded two Israeli soldiers.
On March 18, two terrorists infiltrated the Negev, north of where Tuesday’s attack took place, killed an Israeli soldier and wounded a Bedouin tracker before slipping back over the border. Jordanian authorities later announced that they had captured the terrorists.
(JTA staff writer Allison Kaplan in New York contributed to this report.)