Monday, May 21, 2012

21-May-12: This is what war by terrorism feels like from up close

There have been hundreds of violent attacks on Israeli civilians as well as against IDF patrols, Border Police and civilians by Palestinian Arabs in the last few days. Almost none of this gets reported. The weapons of the terrorists in this asymmetrical warfare are cement blocks and rocks, fire-bombs and Molotov Cocktails. The intention is rarely to cause something as mild as a protest. People have been killed, and anyone observing the venom and - frequently - the degree of planning knows that lethal outcomes are very much part of the agenda of those with terrorism on their minds.

The incidents recounted below come from the reporting of Yehudit Tayar who receives and distributes field intelligence in real-time from the Hatzalah Yehudah and Shomron first-responder organization and from other sources including the IDF.

Frdiay May 18, 2012
  • Border Police serviceman suffered moderate injuries as a result of being hit by rocks hurled by Palestinian Arabs in the vicinity of the flashpoint village of Nabi Saleh. He was evacuated to Belinson Hospital for treatment.
  • In the south of Israel, near Kibbutz Nahal Oz which abuts the Israel-Gaza border, IDF troops came under fire from the other side of the border [see Ynet's brief report]. 
Saturday May 19, 2012
  • Several rock throwing attacks directed at security checkpoints on the edge of Jerusalem, near the community of Adam and at the edge of the Arab Shuafat neighbourhood. A Border Police serviceman suffered moderate injuries in the Shuafat attack.
Sunday May 20, 2012
  • At the Gush Etzion Junction, a Palestinian Arab attempted to stab an IDF serviceman but managed only to get seriously injured from contact with the knife concealed in his clothing. [See our report: "20-May-12: Ongoing 'cycle' of violence, Jerusalem Day edition"]
  • Israel's Secret Service together with the IDF and Israel Police arrested nine members of a terror gang in the Ramallah region who are alleged to have made multiple attempts to carry out kidnappings as part of an effort to extort further releases of incarcerated terrorists. [The Times of Israel report is here.]
  • On the road between Efrat and Tekoa in the Gush Etzion region on Jerusalem's southern fringe, several Israeli vehicles came under rock attack. The rock throwers caused property damage and placed lives at risk.
  • On Road 446 near Na'alin (also known as Ni'ilin), more rock attacks on Israeli vehicles causing shattered windshields and endangering the lives of the drivers and occupants.
  • Shuafat security checkpost, on Jerusalem's northern edge: Palestinian Arabs hurled rocks at the security personnel. A policeman suffered moderate leg injuries.
  • The community of Adam in Jerusalem's northern-eastern suburbs: Palestinian Arabs hurled blocks and rocks at Israeli vehicles causing substantial damage and endangering the lives of the people in the cars and trucks.
  • Ofra, a community of 3,000 people north of Jerusalem: Rock attacks by Palestinian Arabs.
  • On Route 443, the main highway running south into northern Jerusalem from Ben Gurion airport: rock attacks on vehicles near the city of Maccabim, halfway between Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv.
Monday May 21, 2012
  • In Issawiya, East Jerusalem, Palestinian Arabs directed a hail of rocks at the Border Police post
  • Tekoa in Gush Etzion, south of Jerusalem: Two separate rock-throwing attacks on Israeli vehicles, smashing windshields and threatening the drivers' and passengers' lives
  • The notorious stretch of road between Bet Umar and El Arub on the Gush Etzion-Hebron highway: another round of vicious rock attacks
  • In the Southern Hebron Hills: a violent demonstration at Mizpe Yair, two kilometers from the community of Sussia 
  • The East Jerusalem neighbourhood of A-Tur: A Border Police patrol vehicle was attacked by dozens of Palestinian Arabs. Authorities arrested five of the rioters.
Whether or not you are familiar with the place names, what would be the response you would expect from the police and security personnel in your community if cement-block-equipped hoodlums set themselves up on the road next to your home, your school, your shopping mall?

The restraint of Israel's security services in the face of irresponsible, indiscriminate and deliberate violence is extraordinary. But inevitably shattered windscreens give way to shattered bones and shattered lives and then the restraint becomes even more counterproductive than it often appears to be in the current wave of malicious attacks.

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