Sharon teen in Israel shot dead in attack – Boston Herald

A Jewish teen from Sharon who was killed in an attack in the West Bank yesterday was spending his “gap year” studying in Israel and is being remembered by heartbroken friends as “sensitive, sweet, and caring.”

“His personality lifted our spirits and brought warmth and silliness to every room that he entered,” two friends who say they worked alongside 18-year-old Ezra Schwartz at a Jewish summer camp in New Hampshire wrote in a joint message posted to Facebook. “Ezra was one of the most sensitive, sweet, and caring people we have ever met.”

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Another acquaintance recalled Schwartz as “one of the greatest friends I will ever have.”

“The positive attitude you brought to everything you did was incredible and just having you around always made everyone more happy,” the friend posted to Facebook. “You were so funny and there is literally not one bad thing I could ever say about you. I know (you’re) up in heaven now because there is no way such a kind and loving soul like you could be anywhere else.”

Schwartz and two other men were killed at about 4:45 p.m. Israeli time by a Palestinian motorist who opened fire with a submachine gun at cars stuck in a traffic jam in the Gush Etzion area of the West Bank before intentionally ramming his vehicle into a group of pedestrians, according to a statement issued by the Consulate General of Israel to New England’s office.

Schwartz graduated last summer from the Maimonides School in Brookline.

“The entire Maimonides School community is profoundly saddened as we mourn the tragic loss of our recent graduate Ezra Schwartz, Class of 2015, who was murdered in a terrorist attack in Israel,” the Jewish day school’s Head of School, Naty Katz, said in a statement. “Ezra was spending his gap year studying in Israel. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ezra’s family, classmates and friends.”

Last night, a man who declined to speak with reporters, walked out of Maimonides and slowly lowered the U.S. and Israeli flags to half-staff.

The Anti-Defamation League of New England’s regional director, Robert O. Trestan, said the organization was mourning the “senseless loss of life.”

“Our hearts and prayers go out to the Schwartz family, to Ezra’s Maimonides School community, his Camp Yavneh family, and the Sharon Community,” the ADL leader said in a statement. “We mourn all those lost in today’s tragic attacks, and will remain steadfast in our support for the people of Israel during this ongoing wave of terrorism.”

Schwartz’s family members declined to comment when reached by the Herald last night.

The shooting in Gush Etzion came hours after two Israeli men died in a stabbing attack in a store in Tel Aviv. A Palestinian man allegedly stabbed the men in a Judaica store in Tel Aviv’s Panorama building that was being used as an improvised synagogue for afternoon prayers when the attacker tried to force his way inside, according to the consulate general’s announcement.

After his capture, officials say the man from the West Bank town of Dura near Hebron told police officers that he went to Tel Aviv “in order to attack and kill Jews.”

 

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