As the investigation into the terror attack in Psagot – which targeted a
nine-year-old girl – continues, it’s worth zooming out and looking at the wider
situation in the West Bank, where recent weeks have seen an unmistakable
increase in violent attacks.
The IDF rightly says it would be wrong to
reach a premature conclusion that a new wave of Palestinian violence has
At the same time, figures released by the Shin Bet (Israel
Security Agency) in its monthly report for September point to an upsurge in
Palestinian attacks on Israeli civilian and military targets across the West
Bank and east Jerusalem.
In September, security forces logged 129 attacks
in total, compared to 93 in August. The upsurge included the murders of two IDF
soldiers last month, as well as 72 fire bombings, four explosive attacks, and
four instances of small arms fire.
The bottom line is that things are
heating up in the sector. Hamas and Islamic Jihad are attempting to rebuild
terrorist infrastructures and organize terror attacks against Israel from the
West Bank on a regular basis. One recent example is the attempt by Hamas to bomb
the Mamilla open mall in Jerusalem.
These planned atrocities almost never
see the light of day, thanks to the Shin Bet’s round-the-clock preventative
And while the Palestinian Authority under the
leadership of President Mahmoud Abbas negotiates with Israel, incitement to
violence and hatred against Israelis continues to tar the PA’s media
On Sunday, the Internet administrator of an official Fatah
Facebook page praised the Palestinian gunman who shot the young girl in
According to Palestinian Media Watch, the administrator wrote,
“The sniper of Palestine was here. He saluted Hebron, [a reference to the deadly
sniper attack on an IDF soldier last month] and rested in El-Bireh [the
Palestinian village that borders Psagot]. He left the signature of [real] men in
different parts of the homeland.”
In July, the PA’s official television
channel broadcast a program showing two Palestinian girls reading
“Oh, you who murdered Allah’s pious prophets. Oh, you who were
brought up on spilling blood. You have been condemned to humiliation and
hardship. Oh Sons of Zion, oh most evil among creations. Oh barbaric
monkeys, wretched pigs,” one of the girls said.
On the ground, the PA’s
security forces and the IDF continue to maintain a level of cooperation, as
Abbas has no interest in seeing an uncontrollable explosion of violence sweep
his areas of jurisdiction – violence which would be orchestrated by his rival in
the Gaza Strip, Hamas.
At the moment, the embers in the West Bank are
smoldering, and no one can say with certainty whether they will end up erupting
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