The murder of Esther Horgen raises questions about Judea and Samaria

Palestinian schools continue to teach and promote hatred of Israel. It will take generations to eradicate this indoctrination and its consequences.

Esther Hurgan, the woman killed in a suspected terror attack in the northern West Bank on Dec. 21, 2020 (photo credit: COURTESY OF THE FAMILY)
Esther Hurgan, the woman killed in a suspected terror attack in the northern West Bank on Dec. 21, 2020
(photo credit: COURTESY OF THE FAMILY)
The heinous murder of Esther Horgen of Tal Menashe once again raises the question of our future in Judea and Samaria. This question gains further significance in light of Benny Gantz’s interview with a Saudi newspaper in which the former IDF chief of staff said Israel could relinquish most of the Jordan Valley and Judea and Samaria, and that there is room for a Palestinian capital within Jerusalem’s boundaries.
With all due respect to Gantz, his words don’t match today’s reality in Judea and Samaria, nor its future.
For a starter, some facts: Hamas won a large majority (close to 60%) in the 2006 Palestinian legislative election held in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Hamas and its members rule over Gaza.
They are kept under control in Judea and Samaria only due to Israel’s military presence there. Hamas doesn’t hide its hatred of Israel and its desire to wipe it out, notwithstanding temporary ceasefires for its own convenience.
Palestinian schools continue to teach and promote hatred of Israel. It will take generations to eradicate this indoctrination and its consequences.
The economy under the Palestinian Authority will be inferior for years to come due to the corruption of its leadership. The economic aid the PA receives makes its way into the pockets of its corrupt leaders. Consequently, the economic gap between the PA and Israel will never be reduced. These resultant social gaps further strengthen Palestinian enmity.
Further gaps between us and the Palestinians relate to differences in culture and in basic concepts relating to democracy, the legitimacy of murder and its glorification, etc. All of these things add to the Palestinians’ hatred of us. Under the appropriate circumstances, this hatred can ignite at any moment.
The Palestinians have been using terror tactics against us for many years. It’s easy to set up a terrorist network when it is done with a low profile. It’s simple to maintain an infrastructure and carry out terrorist acts that do not require complex preparations. Terrorist activity across the board is hard to uncover and trace, especially when it stems from hatred that trickles down to a broad segment of the population.
Terrorism can’t be fought with tanks, planes and missiles .This explosive reality will most likely face us for many years to come. Our duty is to do everything possible to eliminate it.
Gantz’s proposals only strengthen the region’s volatility and impede practical solutions. A Palestinian capital within the Jewish capital (which he proposes) is a recipe for chaos and friction. Relinquishing land in Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley would enable an untethered terrorist infrastructure and reign with no effective means to counter them.
The despicable murder of Esther Horgen was a wake-up call. Israel must maintain a presence in Judea and Samaria forever.

The writer is a brigadier-general (ret.) and the director of Forum for a Safe Israel (FFSI).