Analysis: Could solving open Jewish terror cases bring end to terror wave?

"If some of these suspects were not presently in administrative detention, we would see more [terror] acts," security official says.

December 2, 2015 11:35
2 minute read.
'Price tag' attack

'Price tag' attack. (photo credit: ABED OMAR QUSINI/REUTERS)


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The link between Jewish terrorism and the current security situation in Israel is not disconnected from reality.

In recent months, many security officials tied the solving of open Jewish terrorism cases to security on the ground.

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Since Monday night, the Israeli media have reported on a “major development” in a high-profile case handled by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and the Israel Police.

A private attorney is pushing to make details public about an apparently dramatic development in one of the more significant security cases in Israel in recent years, which relates to a suspected Jewish terrorist attack against Palestinians. The story has seized headlines over the past two days, even as no media outlets are permitted to divulge information about it.

The news of the major development in the case has focused the public’s gaze on Jewish terrorism and its connection to the wave of Palestinian terrorism that has been going on for more than a month.

Last year, security officials linked the brutal killing of the Arab teen Muhammad Abu Khdeir to the kidnapping of the three Jewish teens in the West Bank, events that led to an escalation of violence in the South and to Operation Protective Edge against the Gaza Strip. The arson attack on the Church of the Loaves and the Fishes, the burning of the Dawabsha family in their Duma home, as well as the arson of the Jewish-Arab school in Jerusalem and other incidents have been classified as Jewish terrorism.

The lack of success in solving these crimes has impacted security and also fed the incitement against Israel on Palestinian social media.


Israel has therefore made the solving of Jewish terrorism cases a more urgent priority.

“We have increased by dozens the number of restraining orders [against Jews who are banned from entering the West Bank] and there are other measures being considered now from a legal point of view and that we expect to institute in the future,” a security official said recently.

The statement revealed that dealing with Jewish terrorists is not only on the agenda of the IDF, the police, and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), but that the issue is also on the desks of the state’s legal advisers.

The security official said there are a few dozen active Jewish terrorists, the majority of whom have no intention to kill. He said that recently there were successes in foiling Jewish terrorist plots.

“We have foiled terrorists entering communities with firebombs and we have set up special dedicated forces that operate in two areas,” he said.

Another security official said that the suspects in Jewish terrorism cases under investigation belong to a “group of extremists that reject the state’s authority and live according to law of the Torah. They learn interrogation tactics and come to the interrogation room prepared, which makes the job of the investigator difficult. If some of these suspects were not presently in administrative detention, we would see more [terrorist] acts,” he said.

The connection between unsolved Jewish terrorism cases and the current Israeli security situation makes security officials believe that as soon as they are solved, the situation will calm down, perhaps enough to end the current violence.

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