Mercaz Harav Yeshiva. Jerusalem
On March 6, 2008 eight students of the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva in Jerusalem were killed and eleven injured when a man armed with a Kalashnikov assault rifle opened fire in the library where about eighty young Jews were gathered. The gunman is reported to have fired 500-600 rounds. The victims were aged between 15 and 26.
The gunman, Alaa Abu Dhein, 26, a Palestinian Arab resident of East Jerusalem, was eventually shot dead by an Israeli Defence Force officer.
Although Abu Dhaim left behind no statement describing his motive, his sister said he had been transfixed by the violence in Gaza, where 126 Palestinians had been killed by Israeli forces over a six day period, in response to rockets fire from Palestinian terrorist groups based in Gaza.
On March 17, hundreds of right-wing activists attacked Arab homes in east Jerusalem in an attempt to destroy the house of the family of the gunman. For three hours, the activists chanted "revenge, revenge", vandalized property and clashed with police. Many of the protesters were part of the 'settler movement', carrying signs bearing the slogan, "Expel the Arab Enemy" and "The Land of Israel for the Jewish People". Others shouted, "kill the Arabs".