|Site of the child's death: Intensive IDF and Israel Police investigation|
Not so much from the Israeli side: the president condemned the awful events, addressed an anti-violence-and-incitement rally in downtown Jerusalem on Saturday night and conveyed the same message to the Arabic media on Friday. The prime minister visited the injured family in hospital (as did the president) and told them and the media that
we’re shocked, we’re outraged,.. We condemn this. There is zero tolerance for terrorism wherever it comes from, whatever side of the fence it comes from. We have to fight it and fight it together. [Jerusalem Post, July 31, 2015]During Saturday night, there were reports of incoming explosive missiles emanating from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and directed at Israelis. Readers of this blog know better than most that rocket attacks by Palestinian Arab terrorists are very far from new in southern Israel, or rare, and those doing the firing have never needed a trigger like the death of a Palestinian Arab child.
Two rockets fell near the Israel-Gaza border fence late on Saturday night. No warning sirens were heard and the military was initially unsure whether the projectiles struck the Israeli or Gazan side of the border... The [IDF] army’s official policy is to retaliate to attacks based on their damage, not the attackers’ intent. Misfired rockets landing on the Gaza side of the fence do not generally elicit an Israeli response. [Times of Israel, today]If, as is the case with many of the previous Gazan Fell Shorts (Palestinian Arab rockets that misfire and hit something Gazan instead of something Israeli) someone was hurt or something was damaged on the Arab side, this will almost certainly go unreported. (Check out some of our past Fell Short reports.)
Though no news channel, to our knowledge, quotes Gazan sources on the subject of last night's rocket attack, this morning we checked the European Union-funded GANSO website which we have mentioned numerous times in the past. Visit their Incident Alerts page right now, as we did (see image below) and you see their report of four, not two, Gazan rockets last night, all of which crash landed on the Gazan side of the border.
Was anyone killed? Were any houses destroyed? No one, but literally no one, seems ever to report on such Arab-on-Arab casualties. Why? Ask the foreign media reporting from there. They're sure to find a justification.
In the background - the very distant background to judge by the almost entirely absent media news coverage - there have been dozens of attacks on Israelis during Friday and the Sabbath day. This Hebrew-language report provides a summary and a time line, replete with photographs depicting the aftermath at some of the attack sites. One of them [here] shows a fire bomb (a so-called Molotov Cocktail) being hurled at an Israeli bus inside Jerusalem on Saturday evening. Israel National News [here] provides its customary close-the-action reports on the weekend's wave of anti-Israel violence.
In the Palestinian Arab media, the call to arms is unmistakable:
Clashes broke out across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank on Friday night in response to the death of an 18-month-old Palestinian who was burned alive in an arson attack carried out by suspected Israeli settlers earlier that day... [Maan News, Saturday]It's almost comical to witness the straight-faced reporting of old/new threats emanating from the terror-addicted ranks of the Islamist Hamas regime in Gaza whose rockets and thuggish "security" agents have been - and continue to be - the cause of so many Palestinian Arab deaths:
Hamas said Friday that every Israeli is now a legitimate target following the deadly terror attack in the village of Duma in which a Palestinian toddler was killed, Israel Radio reported. In an official message to the public, Hamas also called for a "day of rage" to protest the deadly terror attack and "in order to protect al-Aksa mosque..." Israeli and Palestinian Authority security forces are on high alert in Jerusalem and the West Bank as Hamas calls for "day of rage." [Jerusalem Post, Friday]Alert readers understand that declaring Israelis now to be legitimate targets for the rage and murderous hatred of the ranks of Hamas is a cynical joke. The Hamas Charter, its constitution, lays down the foundation for "legitimizing" the murder of Israelis, and virtually every public statement by its spokespersons reinforces the message. Friday's declaration is entirely directed at foreigners, and in particular foreign news reporters.
But not all. This Hamas statement was plainly directed at Palestinian Arab society:
Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri has accused Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas with bearing responsibility for the death of an Arab infant in the village of Duma in Samaria on Friday, which came during an arson attack the IDF suspects may have been committed by Jewish extremists. "I call on Abbas to stop pursuing Hamas in the (West) Bank, and place on him personal responsibility for the burning of the infant Ali Dawabsha, due to his harassment of resistance fighters," said the terrorist spokesperson. "If Hamas had a free hand to act in the (West) Bank, the settlers wouldn't be able to commit crimes like this and burn our children," claimed Abu Zuhri. [Israel National News, August 1, 2015](Abu Zuhri's non-stop venom has been the subject of some of our previous comments.)
Some other selected voices from this weekend (all direct quotes):
- Palestinian officials say Israel is "fully responsible" for the death of an infant in an arson attack blamed on Jewish settlers... [T]he Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), which dominates the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, said it held the Israeli government "fully responsible for the brutal assassination" of the child, Ali Saad Dawabsha. "This is a direct consequence of decades of impunity given by the Israeli government to settler terrorism," it said. [BBC, Friday] The head of the PLO is Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority.
- Husam Badran, a key Hamas leader in Judea and Samaria... [said] that "this crime has turned IDF soldiers and settlers into legitimate targets, in any location and situation... Badran called for every "free person who can harm the occupier to start conducting revenge activities" because "the enemy doesn't understand anything but the language of force." [Israel National News, July 31, 2015]
- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the firebombing "an act of terrorism in every respect" and made a rare telephone call to Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas... Abbas said he had ordered his foreign minister to file a complaint at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. "We want true justice, but I doubt that Israel will provide that," he said of the attack in Duma, near the northern city of Nablus. [AFP, July 31, 2015]
- The US State Department condemned the "vicious terrorist attack" in "the strongest possible terms," urging Israel to "apprehend the murderers" and calling on both sides to "avoid escalating tensions". [AFP, July 31, 2015]
The State Department and especially its now-departed spokesperson Marie Harf, have a history (with us personally) of being mystifyingly unable to label certain kinds of acts of murder as terror, let alone characterize them as vicious. That's astonishing (we feel) when you take into account the plain nature of the crimes of those people, determined in a court of law and with the terrorists mostly confessing to their savagery, and even taking credit for it. (For a reminder of the background: "14-Sep-13: Memo to Secretary of State Kerry: Your staff need some urgent guidance").
We're offering no prizes for readers who can figure out which vicious acts by which people are ranked as terror by State's clever professionals, and which are not. It's about as obvious and clear as such matters ever get. You have to be a certain sort of diplomat to be blind to the nature of what's happening.