Sunday, March 11, 2018

11-Mar-18: Why do so many thwarted Arab-on-Israeli terrorists survive?

The IDF Samaria Military Court compound [Image Source]
If you're a regular visitor to this blog, you won't need reminding that when it comes to the deaths of Palestinian Arabs in circumstances that involve the Israeli military, there's rarely just a single agreed version of the facts. Our question in this post is: why are such deaths so rare?

Bear with us.

The Palestinian Arab side are currently - as they have periodically for years - urging news readers to accept that an innocent fisherman ["High Court delays release of Gaza fisherman’s body", Times of Israel, March 8, 2018] was killed in cold blood by Israeli naval forces. That he's dead is sadly beyond dispute, but the circumstances are not:
“We are sure that the wounded are fishermen who went out to sea to make a living – and nothing else,” the head of the union told Haaretz daily... Incidents involving IDF using excessive or deadly force against the Palestinians have been on the rise since US President Donald Trump announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the US embassy there." [RT, February 25, 2018]
Another Gazan fisherman was shot dead by Egyptian forces [Al Araby, January 13, 2018] a few weeks earlier. But for reasons that most readers can intuit, considerably less media attention has been paid to that.

Which brings us to events that unfolded in Israel's Gaza-envelope communities this morning:
Gaza resident arrested after crossing into Israel with grenade, knife | Times of Israel | March 11, 2018, 10:04 am | The IDF arrested two Palestinians early Sunday after they separately crossed the border fence from the Gaza Strip into Israel, one of them carrying weapons. The military said in a statement that troops apprehended the two Gazans shortly after they had crossed the fence. One was found carrying a grenade and a knife. The army said he is suspected of planning to carry out a terror attack in Israel. One of the suspects is from the north of the Strip while the other was from the south. The army said the two incidents appeared unrelated due to the different locations. The two were transferred to security forces for interrogation, likely by the Shin Bet security service. Gazans are apprehended crossing into Israel fairly regularly, many of them apparently seeking to escape an increasingly difficult humanitarian situation in the Strip. Suspects are believed to sometimes carry weapons in the hopes of being sent to Israeli prison rather than back to the Palestinian enclave.
It's too soon to categorize today's two Gazan Arab arrivals. Are they terrorists? Social climbers? Economic refugees?

But it's not too soon to absorb the fact that both are alive. And that at least one of them came equipped with weapons. And that Gazans entering Israel always arrive without badges stuck to their foreheads announcing that they are on jihadist missions and looking to create mayhem. That assessment has to be made in the heat of the pursuit by IDF service personnel.

Given the blood-curdling ideology which Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other like-minded terror organizations successfully pump into the heads of their followers and subjects, it's usually strategically wise to assume the most malevolent interpretation.

The intercepted pipe-bomb from the February 13, 2018 attack. The metal
ball bearings are there to rip apart the flesh of the victims [Image Source]
Just to reinforce that point, all of these incidents of terror-centered Arab-on-Israeli violence were recorded in the past 14 hours - and all were almost certainly intended to produce deaths:
  • Three Palestinian Arabs armed with Molotov cocktails were apprehended by IDF forces near Route 90, one of Israel's most strategic arteries, running from the northern border all the way to Eilat in the south. It's Israel's longest road. Israel National News says: "The possibility that they are members of a terror cell that threw Molotov cocktails along central roads over the past month is being investigated."
  • Around 10:55 pm last night, an IDF post located just outside Psagot, an Israeli community of about 2,000 residents, came under shooting attack.
  • Then near midnight, shots were fired at soldiers manning the busy Beitunia Crossing, a short distance north of Jerusalem and close to Givat Ze'ev (no injuries, no serious damage). A manhunt is underway in both cases. The distance between the sites of the two shootings is only about 30 km.
  • Police, quoted by Times of Israel, say two Palestinian Arab children, both of them 16 years old and living in Jenin, were stopped this morning by Border Police guards at the security checkpoint next to the entrance to the Samaria Military Court. It's in northern Israel in the village of Salem and close to Megiddo (called Armageddon in the Bible). They were found to be carrying pipe bombs - one per boy - concealed on their bodies. Each one also had a lighter "with which officers suspect they intended to ignite the bombs. The entrance to the court was temporarily blocked while a sapper inspected the devices, which contained explosives, and neutralized them." The background is extraordinary: though it may come as a surprise to even dedicated followers of news from our area, this morning's weaponized children were carrying out the seventh thwarted attempt at pipe-bombing that same court complex in the past four months. Previous intercepts happened on February 14, 2018 (three Palestinian Arabs arrested); February 13, 2018 (single attacker, his pipe bomb packed with metal shards); February 7, 2018 (single Palestinian Arab male attacker);  December 28, 2017 - again, a 16-year-old Palestinian boy with a pipe bomb); December 17, 2017 (a Palestinian Arab with two pipe bombs - one attached to his body under his clothing, and a second one in his coat pocket); October 15, 2017 (single attacker, one pipe bomb). Again - all aiming at the same target.
Motives don't get enough attention in this part of the world. Perhaps that's because the urgency of the task at hand and the potential price of the security people failing to act quickly enough. The result is  that there's always a premium on decisiveness and on certain prevention.

Fortunately for those Gazan infiltrators who come across the border for the personal benefits of the experience, and for the pipe-bombers turning up like lemmings at the doors of the Samaria Military Court compound, the IDF usually doesn't shoot first and ask questions later, at least when circumstances permit. If they acted differently, the number of dead thwarted terror-attackers would be substantially greater.

Let us know if you ever see a mainstream news article that reaches the same conclusion.

1 comment:

Mr. Cohen said...

Harvard Law Professor Alan M. Dershowitz said:

“Why is Israel singled out for super-scrutiny and double-standard criticism, expected to maintain a level of moral behavior not demanded of anyone else?”

SOURCE: Chutzpah by Alan M. Dershowitz (introduction chapter, page 4) published in year 1991 by Little Brown & Co ISBN: 9780316181372 ISBN: 0316181374

Harvard Law Professor Alan M. Dershowitz said:

“When Jews complain about anti-Semitism or anti-Zionism, they are often made to feel that they are oversensitive.”

SOURCE: Chutzpah by Alan M. Dershowitz (chapter 3, page 83) published in year 1991 by Little Brown & Co ISBN: 9780316181372 ISBN: 0316181374

Harvard Law Professor Alan M. Dershowitz said:

“I refuse to bend over backward to single out Israel – or other things Jewish – for super-scrutiny. I refuse to gloat, as so many in academia and the media seem to, over Israel’s shortcomings.”

SOURCE: Chutzpah by Alan M. Dershowitz (chapter 7, page 211) published in year 1991 by Little Brown & Co ISBN: 9780316181372 ISBN: 0316181374

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