|Yesterday's murder scene [Haaretz]|
Amos Harel, a leading columnist at Haaretz, does an analysis piece today, entitled "Murder in the West Bank: A thin line between terror and crime" in which he looks at yesterday's kidnap/murder of an IDF soldier to which an Arab suspect has confessed. We blogged about the killing here: "22-Sep-13: In the wake of a murder, a call for the law to be changed".
Harel notes - speculatively - that the circumstances point to the soldier been enticed to the murder site for reasons unconnected to anything military (which may seem odd since this is being treated as terrorism), and then says:
The Palestinian suspect, Nidal Amar, stated under interrogation that he had kidnapped and killed an Israel Defense Forces soldier, Tomer Hazan, in order to negotiate the release of his jailed brother (in return for the soldier's body). Amar’s brother, Nur al-Adin Amar, is a security prisoner in Israel, affiliated to Fatah... But it is also obvious that, from the moment he was apprehended, it was in the interest of the murder suspect to say he was acting out of terrorist motives. Such a statement would enhance his standing on the Palestinian side, in comparison to the case of a common criminal. Also, in the long run it would improve his prospects for early release through a possible prisoner exchange for future Israeli captives.Harel is advancing a theory, as we understand it, that Israel's evolving policy of wholesale commutation of terrorist prison sentences serves as an inducement to Palestinian Arabs to carry out acts of murder with the expectation of an abbreviated punishment.
Does this qualify as an unintended consequence?
Or has it been clear all along (as we have argued repeatedly; for instance "18-Oct-12: The Shalit deal a year later - a personal reflection" and "17-Apr-12: Turns out the terrorists freed for Shalit are still doing terrorism. Who would have thought it?" and "15-Oct-11: From today's NY Times: 'This deal is a disaster'") that more murders, more terrorism, more misery on both sides, inevitably follow the implementation of such a policy?