American Israeli Ezra Schwartz with family
Israelis Reeling from Deadliest Wave of Terror Yet
ALON SHVUT, Israel -- Israel suffered its deadliest day yet in the current wave of terror. Five died in two separate attacks Thursday, including an American teenager studying in Israel.
Ezra Schwartz came to Israel to join a program co-sponsored by the Jewish Agency and the Israeli government. The head of the Jewish Agency, Natan Sharansky, said his death was even more tragic because Schwartz came to be part of the vibrant Israeli experience.
On Thursday afternoon, a 24-year-old Palestinian terrorist from nearby Hebron began shooting at cars in the next lane with an automatic rifle. He killed Ezra and two others, a Palestinian and an Israeli, and wounded seven.
A video caught the aftermath when Israeli police surrounded the terrorist.
Chris Mitchell - CBN News Middle East Bureau Chief
Earlier in the day, two Israelis died in Tel Aviv when 36-year-old Raed Mahmoud walked into a worship service and began stabbing people during afternoon prayers. He worked in a restaurant next door.
Hamas praised both of the attacks, which came almost one year to the day after a major terror attack on a Jerusalem synagogue killed four during morning prayers.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the terrorists will pay a price for these attacks, and Israeli officials continue to blame incitement by the Palestinian Authority and its political party, Fatah.
Fatah recently held a rally honoring the terrorist responsible for the first two murders in this recent upsurge of violence.
Republican presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted that the Palestinian Arab terrorism is simply the same radical Islam as ISIS.
Many Israelis agree.
"Just as the attacks in Paris, just as previously in London and Madrid and New York, the Islamist, radical terrorist just want to kill us -- not because of what we do or because of where we live -- because of who we are," local resident Ashley Perry told CBN News. "And Jews and Christians around the world are on the front lines."
Watch video here: CBN News - Israel Report