It’s not going to go away soon – not either front. And we Israelis are called upon to be strong. Actually, what I am finding is that, almost to a person, those I speak to are weary and drained. But confident that we will come out on top. I hear it over and over,
“This is my home, and I’m not going anywhere.”
The physical attacks – and attempted attacks – continue. It’s difficult to document them all, for they seem on-going. I might write about the most recent attack and then, within hours, there might be another one.
There were five stabbing incidents yesterday. I do not minimize any of them, for each attack has lethal potential. But I am grateful that there were no Jewish fatalities, and I believe just one Jewish injury. A quick run-down:
A terrorist from the Arab Jebel Mukaber neighborhood of Jerusalem moved into the nearby Jewish neighborhood of Armon Hanatziv (east Talpiot) and was shot dead when he came at a border policeman with a large knife. This has a déjà vu feeling.
An Arab tried to stab a civilian in Hevron. The civilian was carrying a gun, and shot him.
In a separate incident in Hevron, an Arab woman asked directions of a Border Police officer; when the officer drew closer, the terrorist tried to stab her in the neck but aimed badly and hit her vest instead. The border police officer then shot the terrorist.
There was an attack at the Kalandiya checkpoint outside of northern Jerusalem (a notorious trouble spot). There as well, the attacker failed to penetrate the vest of the officer he had charged. Officers shot and wounded him, but when a bomb squad officer tried to approach him, he pulled out another knife and tried to stab him. A determined so-and-so. He was ultimately subdued when shot by another Border Police officer.
A terrorist stabbed and moderately wounded a soldier at a checkpoint in Jerusalem before being subdued by another soldier.
In addition to the above, in the Har Homa neighborhood of Jerusalem, fireworks were thrown at moving cars. It could have been a lot worse: vehicles were damaged, but there were no injuries, even though one car carried three children.
Today, the IDF has had to contend with riots in Judea and Samaria: At Beit Hagai, a Jewish community in the southern Hevron Hills of Judea, where 200 Arabs hurled rocks at the army. And at Tulkarem, in the Shomron, where some 100 Arabs hurled rocks and firebombs. The IDF responded in each situation with crowd-dispersal methods, including rubber bullets, tear gas, and Ruger rifles. In all, some five Arabs were injured.
Hamas has declared that the aggression against Israel has just begun: In a speech in Turkey, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, referring to the “Al Quds intifada,” called on all Palestinian Arabs to escalate their attacks.
He referred to “a tsunami on the diplomatic front and on the ground,” which is precisely what I was referring to when I titled this postings “The Two-Front War.”
PA security forces – apparently eager to quell serious violence – are reporting that Hamas is planning a major terror attack in Judea and Samaria. Hamas’s goal is to draw Israel into more fighting, especially with Kerry coming.
However, Fatah’s military wing apparently is also looking to “stir things up” with additional violence. The PA is controlled by Fatah.
You can avoid a sense of confusion if you are careful not to expect consistency or logic. They are all playing it six different ways at the same time.
Some of the responses by Israel we are seeing (in addition to all sorts of activity in the intelligence sphere we cannot see):
Police are erecting a barrier between the Jebel Mukaber and Armon Hanatziv neighborhoods. The barrier is intended “to prevent the throwing of firebombs at the houses on Meir Nakar Street [in Armon Hanatziv] and to prevent the loss of life. It means nothing more,” a police spokeswoman told The Times of Israel. (That is, it is not a political separation of different parts of Jerusalem.)
Paratroopers are now riding Jerusalem’s buses.
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) has proposed a law that would expand the circumstances under which police searches would be permitted. It received the approval of the Cabinet this morning, and now has to pass the Knesset.
At present, police officers can search someone if there is reasonable suspicion that he or she is carrying a weapon; a visual indication (e.g., a lump in a jacket pocket) is required. If the new bill passes it would permit searches in places prone to violence and if there is suspicion that someone present might use a weapon – even if no visual cue is evident. The search is permissible for weapons – if a commander deems an area to be one prone to violence – but not for drugs or other items.
Here we see a search by Border Police outside of the Jabel Mukaber neighborhood of Jerusalem:
Interior Minister Silvan Shalom has announced the revocation of citizenship of two Israeli-Arabs who perpetrated terror attacks. Note: this is citizenship, not just revocation of residency status in Jerusalem.
My prayer is that we hold strong and keep on doing this.
On Friday, Channel 10 TV news cited a senior defense official as having said:
“If the terrorist attacks continue, we will begin deporting the families of terrorists to the Gaza Strip.”
I know of one reader of mine – he has been asking about this – who will be pleased to read what this official has said. However, it’s still a considerable step from the statement of one person to an official policy.
Another “are we daft?” situation that may be changing for the better:
Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev of Likud, (pictured) has sent a letter to Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, requesting that the law be changed so that public defenders are no longer provided to persons charged with terror-related crimes.
Yes, shake your head, just as I shook mine. Democracy is great, and human rights are important – but this is insanity. And we are accused of apartheid, yet.
Yet another move long overdue. We’re on a roll!
The Palestinian Authority pays salaries to terrorists in Israeli prisons. There are various ways in which the funds are delivered – routinely via wire transfer to the terrorist’s account, or delivery to the terrorist’s home, or even occasionally directly inside the prison. These are not welfare funds for their families – as is sometimes claimed. Very definitely salaries, the payments are keyed to the severity of the attack in which the terrorist participated.
“According to Palestinian law, a terrorist serving three years or under in Israeli prisons is eligible for a monthly payment of about $370, a terrorists serving up to 15 years is paid $1,600 a month, and those sentenced to life in prison are paid $3,100.”
This serves as a reward for terrorism, and as incitement.
Israeli intelligence is being instructed to investigate the nature of the transactions, so that funds can be prevented from reaching their destination – either by blocking transfers or confiscating the money.
As to the other front in the war:
To add to the list of what we must contend with, we now have an old-fashioned blood-libel. Palestinian Arab “activist” Bassem Tamimi posted on his Facebook page last Wednesday a photo of a boy with stitches across his stomach, along with the message:
“When Israelis arrest Palestinian CHILDREN, what is the purpose? To STEAL THEIR ORGANS.”
This would be horrendous in any event – even if Bassem Tamimi were a “lone wolf” Jew-hating nut. However – and please note this well – he is currently on an Amnesty International-sponsored speaking tour in the US. He has been arrested numerous times for directing children to throw rocks at Israeli soldiers.
You can see find information here:
This is the email for Amnesty International: firstname.lastname@example.org . I urge my readers to take two minutes to write to Amnesty International and vigorously protest its sponsorship of Bassem Tamimi. It is important to speak out in such situations and numbers count.
Before contacting Amnesty International, you might want to read an article about Tamimi in Tablet Magazine:
“Bassem Tamimi has addressed American third-graders on Israel and Palestine.”
Then we have PLO Secretary General (former chief negotiator) Saeb Erekat in the latest PLO international ploy. Yesterday he sent a letter to Christof Heyns, UN special rapporteur on extra-judicial, summary or arbitrary executions, asking him to open an immediate investigation into the killings of Palestinians by Israel over the past few weeks, which he defines as “war crimes.”
And as they suggested they would, Hamas has gotten into the diplomatic act.
According to a statement released by Hamas, last night politburo head Khaled Mashaal was in touch with the Russian deputy foreign minister, Mikhail Bogdanov. requesting that Russia use its influence to demand that Israel stop its “aggression” against “our people and our holy sites.”
The release indicates that the Russians were receptive, but I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one. I note this here because it is part of the pattern of conduct by Arabs seeking to turn the international community against us.
More international game-playing:
Algeria, Egypt, Kuwait, Morocco, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates are reportedly planning to submit a proposal to UNESCO, on behalf of “Palestine,” to claim the Western Wall – the Kotel – as part of the Al Aksa compound.
What enraged the Netanyahu government far more, however, was a French initiative:
”The French daily Le Figaro reported on Saturday that the French envoy to the United Nations introduced a draft text that would be endorsed by the president of the Security Council – currently Spain – to station ‘independent observers’ on the Temple Mount to ‘identify possible violations of the status quo.’
”A senior official in the Prime Minister’s Office dismissed the initiative as ‘baseless’ and as ‘only declarative.’
“’We expect that they condemn the incompetence of the Wakf on the Temple Mount,’ the official said.
“’Those who brought explosives and fired firecrackers were Palestinians who turned the Temple Mount into a terrorism warehouse, and they are the ones who tried to change the status quo.’
”The official said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructed National Security Council head Yossi Cohen and the Foreign Ministry to protest the ‘biased and baseless’ language of the initiative.”
Netanyahu has made it clear that we will not cooperate with any international observers, which he called absurd. Israel is not “the problem” on the Mount, but “the solution.” What the French proposal would do, essentially, is internationalize the site.
“…we’ve seen across the Middle East – in Palmyra, in Iraq, throughout Iraq and elsewhere — how militant Muslims blast each other’s mosques sky-high. We’ve just seen it in a Jewish holy site, Joseph’s Tomb. Only Israel, Israel alone, is the guarantor of the holy sites on the Temple Mount,” declared Netanyahu (emphasis added).
This leads us full-circle to the observation of Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotevely, that any international intervention on the Mount would be a violation of Israel’s sovereignty there.
The Muslims are seeking to squeeze us out on the Mount – although they will not succeed – advancing the very erroneous notion that it is “theirs.” But in point of fact, when Israel took the Mount during the Six Day War, and Moshe Dayan made his exceedingly ill-advised agreement with the Muslim Wakf there, it was understood that the Wakf had day to day administrative responsibility for the Muslim holy sites, but they were not ceded sovereignty over the Mount. Sovereignty remains in the hands of Israel, however poorly we exercise it.
Next, I hope, more about Kever Yosef – Joseph’s Tomb. And about some diplomatic interactions.
I know, my friends, how many bases I’ve touched. There is so much to track. And so much to analyze.
I want to close by sharing a video from Aish of a few weeks ago: “I am Israeli!” Watch it full screen.
Perfect for today’s situation – for the matzav. And maybe because of the matzav, it made me cry.
But this is truly a good news ending.
© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by Arlene Kushner, functioning as an independent journalist. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution.
If it is reproduced and emphasis is added, the fact that it has been added must be noted.
“We Have Legal Grounds” –