Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu blamed Palestinian Authority incitement for the terrorist attack that left a 46-year-old police officer dead, and his 28-year-old pregnant wife and nine year old son wounded.
A terrorist opened fire at Israeli civilian vehicles traveling along Highway 35, near the western edge of Hevron. Israeli soldiers closed off the area in search of the perpetrators but have yet to make arrests.
Netanyahu issued the statement to media following the murder of Israel Police Chief Superintendent Baruch Mizrahi, of blessed memory. He and his family were traveling on the road to a seder to celebrate Passover in Kiryat Arba at the time of the attack.
Mizrahi is to be laid to rest at 1:00 p.m. local time Wednesday at the military cemetery in Jerusalem, Mount Herzl, in the section reserved for the Israel Police.
Mizrahi served as director of Technology in the SigInt Unit for the Intelligence division of Israel Police since June 2011. He served in various roles in the IDF for 25 years, ending his military career as a Lieutenant Colonel in the 8200 Intelligence Unit.
“Baruch z’l devoted his entire life to two great loves – his family and the State of Israel,” said his commander. His entire unit and Israel Police released a statement expressing their joining the grief of the family and their wishes for a speedy recovery for his wife.
The terrorist responsible for the murder was standing by the side of a road, waiting for targets, armed with an AK-47 assault rifle, also known as a Kalashnikov. He also shot at other cars passing on the road, according to the Tazpit News Agency, which received reports of attacks from other drivers.
The AK-47 is the same weapon supplied to the Palestinian Authority police force by the U.S. government, via Jordan, during military training at an American-funded base in Jericho during the Bush administration under the supervision of U.S. Lt.-Gen. Keith Dayton.
“This reprehensible murder of a man who was traveling with his family to a meal for the Festival of Freedom is the result of the incitement for which the Palestinian Authority is responsible. The Palestinian Authority continues to constantly broadcast – in its official media – programs that incite against the existence of the State of Israel,” he said.
“Last night this incitement was translated into the murder of a father who was traveling with his family to celebrate the first night of Passover. The incitement of the Palestinian Authority continues in that it has yet to see fit to condemn this abominable and reprehensible act,” Netanyahu pointed out.
Government Minister Uri Ariel (Bayit Yehudi) released a statement warning that every PA prisoner release emboldens the terrorists, and demanded the government cancel all future releases. Ariel said the government should require the PA to cancel any unilateral steps at the United Nations as a precondition to continuing any final status talks.
The United States has supplied more than $161 million dollars to the Palestinian Authority for paramilitary training for its security forces. This includes provision of assault rifles, ammunition and other military supplies. There have been a number of terrorist attacks on Israeli citizens committed by so-called “PA police officers” using this equipment.
Although the United States has had the fantasy that the PA security forces would enforce agreements made by its government to abandon violence and restrain terrorist groups in order to “enable” a “two state solution” — that has not worked out. Instead the PA paramilitary force has simply continued along its traditional path of enforcing the corruption of its leaders. Moreover, some of its members have joined – or returned to — terrorist ranks, bringing along with them new knowledge, training and equipment gifted to them from the American government.
These new police terrorists are more dangerous than the garden-variety operatives because they often appear to be security personnel, while being the very opposite.
It is not yet clear who attacked the Mizrahi family on Highway 35 on the eve of Passover in broad daylight. But it is clear that whoever it was had no fear whatsoever that he would be caught. It was a brazen attack — with a terrorist standing on the side of the road in broad daylight — and he was able to escape quite handily back into a village or right into Hevron with no problem at all, due to the removal of roadblocks that previously might have stopped him — or at least have slowed him down.
It proves, once more, that American pressure on Israel to extend “good will gestures” to the PA by releasing terrorist prisoners and opening security road blocks has cost our people another river of blood.
That price for peace – especially when the same ritual is repeated over and over again with no results – is too high. Talks should not involve blood-letting as a precondition for peace.
The definition of negotiation is to bargain with another, over preparation of a treaty or contract. It is a dialogue between two or more people or parties to reach an understanding and/or resolve points of difference. Successful negotiations involve a win-win scenario.
Continued terror attacks, government-sponsored media incitement designed to inspire further attacks and ensure another generation of hate makes it clear the PA has no interest in peace with Israel. Negotiations with such an entity are bound to fail, since the PA is not negotiating in good faith.
As a writer, one is taught to use language and words. But as an analyst and intergroup specialist, one focuses on actions rather than words. The actions of the Palestinian Authority government are painfully clear – this is not a partner for peace. In fact, this is not a partner at all.
Israel stands alone. It is in our best interest to simply focus on the job of protecting ourselves, unpleasant as it will be. The world will condemn us for it regardless. And then they will move on, because that is what life does.
But we will have to explain it to the Americans — that relationship is precious and necessary — and we need a true diplomat to do that. Someone who is fluent not only in the language but also in the culture. We need that person sooner, rather than later. Now, in fact. Our “hasbara” – our public relations – has been abysmal.
We need a coordinated, cohesive, coherent message, delivered promptly at the moment when something occurs and not hours later. One that is succinct, clear and culturally competent in the language with no typos or errors in syntax, grammar or spelling. Really.
We don’t have that yet – but we need it badly because the Arabs already have it and it has cost us dearly. A smart government will figure out that this is a priority to fund, and fast.
About the Author: Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.
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