Tuesday, November 01, 2016

01-Nov-16: Again, Pal Arab armed security officer in Arab-on-Israeli terror attack

The IDF's Focus security checkpoint near Beit El, scene of last night's shooting attack [Image Source]
When prominent voices in the Palestinian Authority regime go public with extravagant praise of murderous violence directed at Israelis and Jews (which they are increasingly doing and with less restraint than in the past) it should not surprise that the Palestinian street - the rank-and-file of ordinary Palestinian Arab folk, take note and respond.

Armed attacks on Israelis by members of the various PA security apparatuses, though rarely reported that way by the mainstream news media, are also a growing reality.

Back in January, a Palestinian Arab who was employed by the PA as a security officer (here he is in official uniform) and armed bodyguard for the Ramallah District Attorney, opened fire at an IDF checkpoint near Beit El in the West Bank. As Times of Israel recounted at the time, he drove up to an IDF security checkpoint (called "Focus") by car and got out, opening fire with his handgun. His targets, all of them IDF service personnel, suffered serious gun-fire injuries before one of them shot the assailant, Amjad Sakari, 35, dead. Two of the victims were described as being in serious condition with bullet wounds to the neck and thigh. All were rushed to Jerusalem hospitals for emergency care.

What happened next is instructive. The gunman's body, draped (as another Times of Israel report says) in a Palestinian flag, was brought from the Rafidiyeh Hospital in Nablus to Jamain, a village south of Nablus, for a martyr's burial. Throngs of participants in the funeral shouted "Death to Israel" as the religious functionary - presumably also on the payroll of the PA - who conducted the ritual intoned
"It is time for the machine gun, to shoot 500 people... Muhammad’s army will return"
The Palestinian Arab media, quoted by Times of Israel, reported on the participation of high-ranking PA and Fatah officials among the thousands attending Sakari's funeral. They included Nablus governor Akram Rajoub. No one suggests the "Death to Israel" messaging was repudiated by any of the participants. In fact, to illustrate the wall-to-wall support in Palestinian Arab society for this kind of undertaking, special praise from Hamas for the shooting attack came via one of its more notorious spokespeople,  in a press release.

Two weeks later, on February 14, 2016, another PA security man, this time a PA police officer acting with a companion, opened fire on a group of Border Police officers at Jerusalem's Damascus Gate:
The policeman and his companion, carrying automatic weapons, shot at a group of Border Police officers who were receiving their nightly briefing before beginning patrols in the Old City’s Damascus Gate area. The Israeli officers fired back, hitting one assailant instantly and setting off in pursuit of the second, who was still shooting at the officers, police said. The second attacker was soon hit and killed by police fire as well. There were no injuries among the Israeli officers or bystanders. Both attackers were residents of the West Bank, police said. The Palestinian policeman was named as Omar Ahmed Amru, and the other as Mansur Yasser Shawamra. ["One of shooters at Damascus Gate was Palestinian policeman", Times of Israel, February 15, 2016]
Which brings us to yesterday, and another lethal Arab-on-Israeli attack launched by a policeman in the service of the Palestinian Authority. This attack, too, earned praise from Hamas
“We welcome the heroic operation carried out by the martyr officer Muhammad Turkman. We consider [the attack] a strong message in the face of Israeli crimes.” [Times of Israel, October 31, 2016]
And it took place at the same security checkpoint as the one from January 2016:
Three Israeli soldiers were wounded, one of them seriously, in a shooting attack when a Palestinian police officer opened fire on them at a checkpoint outside the West Bank city of Ramallah on Monday, officials said. The gunman approached the Focus checkpoint, near the Jewish settlement of Beit El, and opened fire with an AK-47 assault rifle at the troops stationed there, the army said... The gunman was named as Muhammad Turkman, a police officer from Qabatiya... [The PA says] Turkman served in a “special forces unit... In a statement, the Hamas terrorist organization lauded the attack and encouraged other members of the Palestinian security services to carry out similar attacks ["Palestinian cop wounds 3 IDF soldiers in a shooting attack", October 31, 2016 | Judah Ari Gross in Times of Israel]
All of the injured IDF soldiers are around 20. All suffered gunshot injuries. One remains in serious condition at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Mount Scopus hospital. And since Ma'an News Agency gets lavish financial backing from several European countries, allow us to mention that its Arabic report of the attack at the Focus checkpoint (but not the English-language version) says Turkman, the shooter, was executed by the Israelis in cold blood.

Chief Palestinian "peace" negotiator Saeb Erekat
illustrating "the distance between the Israeli and Palestinian sides"
without, as far as we know, taking  actual credit for how wide and
growing it is [Image Source: Abir Sultan / Flash90]
How do the highest-level PA insiders, and especially the "peace-makers" among them, view wanton violence of the sort in which their security people engage?

For example: the PA regime's high-profile chief negotiator for "peace" (that's the word he and his team use), Saeb Erekat was quoted [here] in the PA's official mouthpiece news channel, a week and a half ago calling the murderous actions of terrorists "sacrifices... acts of heroism, [an] ongoing battle with the occupation".

This is the same peace-making Erekat who last year published recommendations for how the PA ought to go about achieving its strategic goals. They're worth thinking about. An excellent but little-noticed analysis by Jonathan Dahoah-Halevi, a respected Israeli commentator ["The Palestinian Leadership’s Regression in the Peace Process"] lays them out. Peace-man Erekat called for
  • Strategic cooperation with the terrorists of Hamas and of Palestinian Islamic Jihad by means of integrating them into the PLO’s institutions.
  • The waging of an all-out “peaceful popular struggle” against Israel. "Peaceful" is defined by the Palestinian Arab leadership as referring to local terror attacks.
  • The rejection of all proposals for a settlement of issues - whether temporary or even partial - with Israel
  • A escalating legal battle against Israel in international organizations and courts arena aimed at constraining Israel’s ability to defend itself against Palestinian Arab terror.
The list goes on and is worth a few minutes' reading. [UPDATE: See also "03-Nov-16: Saeb Erekat's heroes"]

For some of the terror-encouraging quotes and speeches of Erekat's boss, PA president Mahmoud Abbas, we refer you to Palestinian Media Watch which devotes several departments [here] to his ongoing public acts of incitement.

Lest anyone out there believes Palestinian Arab public opinion is somehow immune to round-the-clock exhortations to violence, bigotry and murder like those coming from the highest-levels of the PA ruling clique, take a look at what ordinary Palestinian Arabs say to pollsters from their own Palestinian Arab community. Here's a good, recent starting point: "18-Oct-16: What do the Palestinian Arabs think and feel now?"

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