Latest update: June 25th, 2013
The IDF has reported a “sharp drop in rock-throwing attacks in Judea and Samaria” following “hundreds of arrests of those responsible for previous attacks.”
And it’s true. As one of those radical extremists who occupies a quarter of an acre over the Temporary Armistice Lines of 1949, now known as the notorious Green Line, I can confirm that the IDF is telling the truth.
Again. And again. For the umpteenth time.
It is the same truth that is uttered every several months in southern Israel, where the Sderot region is battered by rockets until the IDF retaliates beyond the routine bombing of a “terrorist tunnel and a weapons depot.” The military could have been bombed these known targets before rocket attacks, but that would be too sensible and too politically incorrect.
Sunday’s proclamation of the drop in rock-throwing attacks does little to heal the wounds and trauma of thousands of rock throwing victims who have been through this up-and-down deadly game before.
Most of the rock-throwing attacks, which are intended to cause fatal accidents and sometimes “succeed,” are on the highway to Samaria from Kfar Saba, on the northern edge of metropolitan Tel Aviv, and on Highway 60 between Jerusalem and Kiryat Arba-Hevron.
Last week, women from the bloc of communities of Kedumim and Ginot/Maaleh/ Karnei Shomron, east of Kfar Saba marched in protest at the Arab village of Azzun, pronounced like Azoon. That is where Arabs practice the art of attacking Jewish motorists with rocks and cinder blocks, and sometimes firebombs.
Residents of Gush Etzion, located along Highway 60, which connects Jerusalem with their communities and Kiryat Arba-Hevron, also protested the daily rock attacks from two villages, Beit Omar and El Aroob.
Indeed, the reduction of the rock throwing attacks followed IDF arrests. The IDF neglected to admit that the arrests followed the protests.
Commander of the Etzion Regional Brigade Col. Yaniv Alaluf said that in the past four months his brigade has carried out roughly 300 arrests, more than any other regional brigade in the Judea and Samaria region.
Even better, “The commander also noted that the frequency of rock-throwing attacks has fallen significantly, from roughly 50 incidents each week to around 10, and that the majority of the arrested suspects operated alone and not as members of a particular organization.”
That really does not make me feel so good when I drive back and forth to Jerusalem from my home south of Kiryat Arba.
“Only 10 a week.” That is more than one day.
Thank you so much, but I really don’t like playing Russian Roulette.
But it gets even worse. “Nonetheless, it is still too early to find a causal link between the statistics” of the number of arrests rock-throwing attacks, “but in the field they are feeling the decrease in incidents,” says the colonel.
Then the IDF adds the clincher: “The frequency of attacks has fallen to a rate similar to that of 2012, which is lower than the amount of attacks experienced in early 2013.”
In other words, we have been in this movie before. and in between, it got worse.
And we will be there again.
The IDF ostensibly gets its orders from the government. But senior officers know if they want a promotion, they would be better off not waiting for orders to hold their fire and not to get carried away defending Israelis. Defensive measures might be disproportionate, and that would aggravate U.S. Secretary of State John Kelly, who in turn would aggravate the Defense Ministry.
It is a lot easier to leave the local Jewish settlers aggravated. Maybe they will give up and leave.
If I would simply flee to my rightful ghetto in Tel Aviv, all of this would stop.
And if Israel were to simply expel 9,000 Jews from Gush Katif in Gaza and remove all of its soldiers, Hamas would stop missile attacks and we would live in peace.
Oh, I forgot, we did that already.
A funny thing happened on on the way to the funeral. It didn’t work.
Just for kicks, I tried asking an IDF officer in the Spokesperson’s Unit why we get into a situation that people have to die and suffer wounds from rockets and rock-throwing when we know very well the source of the attacks.
As expected, the response was the usual: “The IDF will continue to do everything in its power to provide security and stability to the State of Israel and its residents.”
The spokesman added that IDF patrols and security actions “take place in accordance with ongoing threat assessments and based on intelligence, the tactical situation in the field and other variables. Following operation ‘Pillar of Defense,’ a graded increase in popular violence was identified in the area. Since then, the IDF has increased its activity, while cooperating with other security forces. A concurrent decline in rock-throwing has recently been identified in the Etzion Brigade, in part likely due to more rigorous IDF security operations demanded by the situation assessments.“
I have been on reserve duty in the Bethlehem area near Gush Etzion. My sons have patrolled at checkpoints and next to Gaza.
Friends and neighbors routinely do the same, and all come back with the same report, which was unfortunately best related by someone else, a rock-throwing victim.
Her experience deserves a full article, which readers can look at later this week, but the bottom line is that when the car in which she was riding was literally ambushed and forced to stop as Arabs smashed the windows, sending her and others to the hospital, an IDF officer stopped a solider from shooting, even in the air.
“A soldier shot in the air, and the rock-throwing stopped. It started again, and the soldier shot again,” said the victim.
“Then an officer said, ‘Stop shooting.’ The soldier responded, ‘How can I protect citizens. I have a protective vest. They don’t.’”
I believe the young woman who told me this story.
I believe every word.
She is my daughter.
About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.
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