Monday, July 26, 2010

26-Jul-10: Two Samarian incidents

Two small reminders of the enduring nature of this ongoing war, and what it means to confront terrorists.

This past Friday, as reported in Haaretz, a reserves unit of the IDF, patrolling near Nablus in an area controlled by the PA, encountered burning tires on the road. Experience of many such situations says look around, check who is in the area and take precautions. And indeed, figures were spotted hiding by the roadside. The soldiers quickly flanked and caught the group of men off guard and found they were equipped with handguns and fire bombs. After Shin Bet questioning they acknowledged their plan was/is to ambush passing Israelis and attack them with pistol fire and fire bombs.

The same day: a different incident and a separate report (APF this time). IDF soldiers are said to have fired on a Palestinian Arab acting supiciously inside the confines of the community of Barkan. The man was unarmed (it appears after the fact) and probably "only" trying to steal. Sadly, as happens in warfare conducted according to the rules of terror, the men with the guns and the men who only want to steal don't have flashing signs on their t-shirts announcing the difference. In a Jordanian account of the incident, there were two Palestinian Arab men, one of whom evidently was armed and who managed to flee after both men were warned to stop by the IDF but ignored the warning.

In the Barkan incident, Ghassan Khatib, a spokesman for the Palestinian Authority, said in an official statement that the dead man "was only suspected" of having a weapon on him, and he denounced what he called the Israeli army's "current practice of shoot now and ask questions later."

His advice to Israel in the case of the burning tires ambush the same day near Nablus was not recorded.

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