The brutality of Tuesday night’s shooting remains difficult to grasp, even after
years of bitter experience.
Kochava Even-Haim, Avishai Shindler, Yitzhak
Ames and his wife, Talia, who was pregnant with her seventh child, were shot as
they drove along Route 60 outside Kiryat Arba. According to the security
services, the vile Hamas terrorists who perpetrated this horrible murder
maintained their fire from extremely close range, to make sure that the four
On Wednesday night, terrorists struck again, shooting Moshe
Moreno and his wife, Shira, near Ramallah.
Mercifully, this time, Hamas
failed to kill. The Morenos escaped with light-to-moderate wounds.
wake of these attacks, senior IDF officials warned that we may be on the
of a new wave of terror after a period of relative quiet.
of its desire not to be ousted from the West Bank by Hamas, as it was
in June 2007, the Palestinian Authority has beefed up its security
with Israel in the past two and a half years. It has been cracking down
Hamas-affiliated imams, teachers and leaders. Coordination with the IDF
longer hidden. The PA has hosted senior Israeli security officials in
Tulkarm and Jericho.
Greater mobility as a result of the removal of
dozens of checkpoints, along with generous foreign aid, contributed to
percent growth in the West Bank’s economy in 2009, according to the
International Monetary Fund. Brig.-Gen. Nitzan Alon, commander of the
Samaria Division, told Army Radio on Thursday that the security
situation on the
West Bank was much better than two years ago despite the steep reduction
Nonetheless, even amid this relative calm,
Yehoshua “Shuki” Sofer was murdered and three other police
officers were wounded in June when they were ambushed by Hamas and
gunmen while driving on Route 60 in the Hebron Hills. In February, a
police officer stabbed to death IDF Sgt. Ihad Khatib at the Tapuah
junction. Last December, Fatah’s Al-Aksa Brigades were responsible for
shooting of Rabbi Meir Avshalom Hai, a father of seven, near Shavei
settlement in northern Samaria.
These acts of terror, seen together with
this week’s violence and the estimates regarding future attacks, drive
fragility of security for Israelis in the West Bank, particularly in
located on the “wrong” side of the security barrier.
It was encouraging
to hear the PA’s President Mahmoud Abbas, speaking at the US State
Departmenthosted resumption of direct talks on Thursday, assure Israel
commitment to security arrangements.
Encouraging, but not decisively
persuasive. After all, this is the same Abbas who recited the opening
the Koran for the “elevation” of the soul of Amin al- Hindi, one of the
masterminds of the September 1972 Munich Olympics massacre of 11
coaches, when he who was laid to rest two weeks ago. It is the same
Abbas who in
March agreed to name a square in al-Bireh after Dalal Mughrabi, a female
terrorist who led the 1978 Coastal Road Massacre in which 37 Israeli
and an American photographer were killed, and 71 were wounded.
context, it was telling to hear Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
stress, at the
same venue, that security was one of the two pillars of any peace
the Palestinians (along with legitimacy for the sovereignty of Israel as
Jewish state). As the prime minister noted, there can be no
without security. “Security is a must,” he said, even as he warmly
to Abbas as his “partner.”
Until Israelis, whether they live in Tel Aviv
or in Kiryat Arba, can be assured that their negotiating partner is
terror – not committing it, fostering it, or legitimizing it as a means
obtaining political objectives – there will not be peace.
Palestinian terrorists think that by targeting residents of Judea and
they can somehow drive a wedge between Israelis living inside the Green
those living beyond it. There are sharp differences of opinion that
Israeli society. The proposed boycott of Ariel’s cultural institutions
academics and artists is the latest example of such internal dissent.
divisions over the settlement project in Judea and Samaria by no means
indulgence for loathsome acts of terrorism like the one perpetrated on
night against four innocent people.