There is no question about the fact that we will prevail over the current scourge of terrorism. We are here to stay. Our country Israel, will remain, and remain proudly and resolutely Jewish.
But scourge is a good word for what we are dealing with. And as much as I would like to look at politics, once again the battle we are fighting against consummate evil must come first.
Please, share this broadly so that many will know what is happening.
The terrorist who attacked in Tel Aviv on Thursday evening – and has been identified as Raad Hazem, 28 – was caught by 5:30 am on Friday. He was no longer in Tel Aviv, but rather outside a mosque in old Jaffa. It was the Shin Bet that located him. He had apparently started from that mosque, and then was returning to it. He still had his weapon and it is believed that he was planning to hide out there and then launch another attack on the first day of Pesach, which begins this Friday night.
When he realized he had been spotted, the terrorist repeatedly fired at the Shin Bet officers, who then shot and killed him. This is how it should always end, with the terrorist taken out summarily.
The terrorist was from Jenin. His family has two homes – one in a village just outside Jenin, Deir Ghazaleh, and one in the “refugee camp” in Jenin. And it is the latter I want to refer to briefly.
That Palestinian Arabs living within areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority should be referred to as “refugees” and kept separate is ludicrous. These are, ostensibly, people who ran from Israel in 1948, in some small number of cases, and in the main descendants of these people. They are called “refugees” because the claim is that their place is not the Palestinian Authority: they must “return” to Israel within the lines of 1949. UNRWA promotes and fosters this nonsense with an eye to weakening Israel, but the PLO is fully cooperative.
There are reports that this terrorist was a “lone wolf.” What this means is that he had no official connection to a terrorist group. But it is almost never the case that such a terrorist actually operates by himself. He has a support system of family/friends that assist or encourage him.
In this case, it is believed that the terrorist’s brother drove him to Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv and then took off (he has not been located). What is more, his family is reportedly being hidden by others in Jenin. Do we need to wonder why?
Most significantly, there is the terrorist’s father, Fathi Hazem, who is a key figure in the Fatah movement in the city of Jenin, and a former officer in the Palestinian Authority security forces. On Friday he said.
“[Palestinians] will see victory with the help of Allah, you will get liberty and independence. I pray that Allah would free al-Aqsa from the sullied occupiers.”
Hazem made this statement to the throngs of thousands who had marched to his home in Jenin to celebrate what his son had done.
The terrorist’s uncle also praised his nephew on Facebook.
When you hear talk about a “two-state solution,” please remember that this attack was perpetrated by someone whose father, a key Fatah figure, praised his murders.
Fatah is the major party of the Palestinian Authority, our erstwhile “peace partner;” Mahmoud Abbas is a founder of Fatah and currently serves as its head. In point of fact, Fathi Hazem is not the exception within Fatah, but the norm.
In the end, three people were killed by the Dizengoff terrorist. Two had died quickly after having been critically wounded: Tomer Mordad, left below, and Eitam Megini, both 27. They were childhood friends who had grown up together in Kfar Saba. Two good guys, praised by friends.
“Great sorrow has descended upon our city,” said Kfar Saba Mayor Rafi Sa’ar on Friday. “There are no words and there is no comfort for those who lost their children. We will support the families and we will do everything in order to protect our lives and continue the battle until we will win – because we have no other option, and we have no other land.” (Emphasis added)
Eitam had just become engaged to his girlfriend, Ayala, a month ago, and they were planning a party.
His family decided to donate his organs. Hagai, his grandfather, said: “…we’re in such pain, a pain that no one can comprehend or absorb…”
On Friday, Barak Lufan, 35, a kayak coach and champion gymnast, succumbed to his wounds as well. Originally from Kibbutz Ginosar, he had made his family home in Givat Shmuel. He leaves behind a wife, two daughters, aged three and five, and a five-month old son.
This is how a dear friend spoke of him: “…He was the best son parents could wish for; the best friend anyone could want. He was the best father, the best husband — but he didn’t know it. He always had this shy smile on his face; he was so modest, and he didn’t care a bit about compliments or praise…”
All three were laid to rest today: Tomer and Eitan in Kfar Saba, and Barak in Ginosar.
In the last two days, people have been coming to the site of the terror attack to pray, express solidarity and honor the memory of the victims.
By Saturday it had been decided by security forces that it was necessary to go on the offensive against terror, not simply defend against it. Key areas for operations were Jenin, which is a hotbed of terrorism, and Ya’ab, which is where the Bnei Brak terrorist had come from. There was also a military operation in the Balata refugee camp.
In one instance last night, a group of terrorists managed to get away, but an attack was averted, as they threw away their weapons as they fled. A Carlo sub-machine gun intended for use in an attack was seized.
Operating in Jenin, IDF special forces acted on precise intelligence to apprehend two people suspected of involvement in terrorist activity.
In the course of this operation, they were fired upon by armed assailants in the crowd that had gathered. Fire was returned and one, identified as being associated with Palestinian Islamic Jihad, was killed. A second assailant who had PIJ associations was apprehended and his weapon confiscated.
After this operation, Samir Saadi, the deputy mayor of Nazareth (a predominantly Arab city in the north), posted a message with regard to the assailant who had been neutralized: “Our condolences to the cousins in the Jenin camp.
“I ask Allah to accept him with the shahids (martyrs)…”
He took it down after criticism mounted. MK Ofir Sofer (Religious Zionism) wrote that Saadi was “a terror supporter who receives a salary from the State.
“There is no place to wait for him to apologize…The Interior Minister must end his position and the police must open a criminal investigation against him.”
I would certainly hope that Saadi, an Israeli citizen, would be handled with maximum stringency, but I have no confidence that this will be the case. The Islamists and the lefties in the government might not like it. Here is a painful example of what we are dealing with today: enemies of the State embedded within official positions in the State.
One of the problems that must be addressed if security is to be enhanced is the ability of terrorists to slip through breeches in the Security barrier.
The Security Cabinet has now allocated 300 million NIS to upgrade the barrier. In the interim, troops will be stationed along this line.
Overnight Joseph’s Tomb, an ancient holy Jewish site, was vandalized by about 100 Arabs from the Balata refugee camp nearby in Shechem (Nablus). They smashed the tomb that is over the grave and set multiple fires on the site, in retaliation for the IDF operation I have just described above.
Ultimately PA forces put down the rioting, but they were very severely remiss in not guarding it properly in the first place. When the Oslo Accords were signed, this tomb was allowed to remain in a Palestinian Authority area with the understanding that the PA would guard it and allow Jewish visitation. Jewish visitation is permitted only intermittently, and it is obvious on the face of things that it is not properly guarded.
International law professor Eugene Kontorovich declared this incident to be a violation both of very specific provisions of the Oslo Accords, and of international law on cultural and religious sites.
Israel will assume responsibility for repairing the site, but an outraged Yossi Dagan, head of the Samaria Regional Council, is calling for the immediate return of the IDF to this site: “This is an act that would shock every Jew, the destruction of one of the holy places for the Jewish people, just before Pesach… The people of Israel in their sovereign state must preserve their sanctuaries.”
Please see this op-ed by Karma Feinstein Cohen, executive director of World Herut. She provides a critical perspective (emphasis added):
“For too long, Israelis and their leaders believed that the Israel-Palestinian conflict was largely dormant…
“…most Israelis saw the only tangible threat as emanating from Iran and its proxies.
Nevertheless, the conflict with the Palestinians, over 100 years old, has once again caught us unprepared.
“The warning signs had not gone away, we largely closed our eyes and ears.
“A case in point was the release of a new study conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PCPSR) just before the new wave of terror attacks which claimed the lives of eleven and injured others began.
“According to Palestinian Media Watch, when Palestinian respondents were asked about the most effective means of ‘ending the Israeli occupation and building an independent state,’ 68% chose violence, 44% chose armed struggle (i.e. engage in all out terror similar to the PA-launched 2000-2005 terror campaign) and 24% chose ‘popular resistance’ (the PA euphemism that includes sporadic terror attacks like shootings, stabbings, and car rammings)…
“In other words, while Israel was basking in the warm glow of regional Arab acceptance, Palestinian Arab violent rejectionism was just waiting to explode.
“The question that many are now asking is what should be done about it.
“Some believe that Israel should ensure greater concessions to the Palestinians, but that has not worked in the past and merely incentivizes more attacks.
“Others believe in ‘mowing the grass’, taking actions that will degrade its enemy’s ability to attack for a certain period of time. It is about short deterrence, and sending a message, rather than delivering the kind of blow it cannot recover from…
“This leaves a more radical, but as yet untried strategy; seeking a complete victory.
“The term victory has been paraded about quite a lot in recent years by Israeli politicians and top IDF brass alike, but never in the true and fullest sense of the term.
“Historically, wars are won when one side broke the will of the other to keep on fighting and ensured it would not meet its war aims...
“To end the conflict once and for all, Israel has to ensure that all Palestinian violent rejectionists, from Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Fatah and ISIS, understand that their war aims will not be realized, give up, recognize the permanence of Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish People…”
“Israel should do this using all tools necessary to break the terrorists’ will to continue fighting, whether military, economic, diplomatic or political, while remaining no less committed to humanitarian law and the rules of war.”
© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by independent journalist Arlene Kushner.