Photo Credit: Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90
IDF soldiers block the area near the scene of the shooting attack on a bus on road 90 in the Jordan Valley, September 4, 2022.

The increasing wave of terrorist attacks and the speedy escalation of “minor” violence such as stone throwing in Judea and Samaria indicate a clear direction: the third Intifada is already here, in time for the Jewish High Holidays. To remind you, what was dubbed the “2015-2016 wave of terror” (so we won’t have to call it “Intifada”) began with the Rosh Hashanah Eve 5776 murder of Alex Leblowitz Hy’d by two kids who threw stones at his car. Get ready for the Rosh Hashanah 5783 Intifada.

A senior military official told Ynet Monday morning that “from Operation Guardian of the Walls until today we’ve had a relatively high level of violence. In the past year, there have been many setbacks, but such an incident of shooting from a passing vehicle is an unusual incident that we have not known for a long time, and certainly not in the Jordan Valley. We are in a very complex period here, and it is not over yet.”


He was referring to an attack on a bus carrying IDF soldiers that came under a rain of heavy automatic fire from a pickup truck on the main Jordan Valley highway Sunday afternoon. The attackers sprayed the bus with a combustible liquid, planning to set it and the passengers inside on fire. Seven were injured in the attack, including a 60-year-old bus driver who was seriously injured, but despite the bullets that tore up his body kept his wits about him and managed to park the bus on the shoulder of the road before losing control and causing who knows how many more injuries. The soldiers on board returned fire and chased away the attackers. An officer and five soldiers were injured.

Two terrorists, brothers from Jenin, were caught near the scene with their illegal M-16 rifles after their vehicle had caught fire as a result of an exploding Molotov cocktail they intended to throw at the gasoline-covered bus (Divine Justice: 2 Terrorists Severely Burned by Firebombs After Attacking Israeli Soldiers in Jordan Valley). The security forces are hunting for a third terrorist who fled the scene. It is believed he is the father of the captured terrorists, who is married to an Israeli-Arab woman from eastern Jerusalem.

See how the privileges of family reunification pay rewards? They give us murderous Arab terrorists with blue Israeli ID cards.

Later on Sunday, four Netzah Yehuda Battalion soldiers were slightly injured from fragments of an improvised explosive device that terrorists threw at an IDF pillbox near Nabi Saleh in Binyamin. The terrorists have not yet been caught and many IDF forces are conducting searches in the area.

The IDF Central Command is concerned about the spread of improvised shooting attacks to other areas of Judea and Samaria, including Gush Etzion. In Jenin and Shechem, the army has been operating in a very significant way, using special means of warfare, increased forces, and heavy weapons. On Monday morning there was an exchange of fire between IDF forces and armed terrorists in the terrorist village of Qabatiya near Jenin in northern Samaria. According to the Arab reports, IDF forces are carrying out arrests in the area, to thwart terrorist activities everywhere. Three terrorists were injured during the exchange of fire, one of them was seriously wounded in the head after throwing a Molotov cocktail at the soldiers.

Salah al-Din mosque in the town of Qabatiya. / A Abualrob

Wait, “the terrorist village of Qabatiya?” Yes, it is, and it’s not the only one. In the first Intifada, Qabatiya was a center of violent activity against the IDF. Hundreds of its residents were arrested and several dozen were killed. On February 24, 1988, a man suspected of collaborating with the Israeli government was murdered by an Arab mob in Qabatiya, and his body was set on fire and hung in the center of the village. Following the lynching, a siege was imposed on the village and many arrests were made. May 1988 saw the trial of 95 residents of Qabatiya accused of involvement in the lynching. The trial lasted many months. The electricity was cut off from the village and was only restored in November 1988. Later, the Arabs murdered additional suspected collaborators and the IDF’s intelligence infrastructure in Judea and Samaria was severely damaged. In the second Intifada, Qabatiya became known as one of the terror centers of Judea and Samaria, from which many attacks and murders against soldiers and civilians were carried out. Reuven Shmerling Hy’d was murdered by two Qabatiya villagers.

Still, the IDF Central Command is determined to continue its aggressive activity but to avoid an all-out operation in Judea and Samaria. At this point, the vast majority of PA Arabs are not involved in terror attacks or even the stone-throwing, all of which have so far been improvised and localized. For an all-out operation against terrorism, the IDF would have to once again invest in taking over PA territory as it did in 2002 following the Park hotel Passover massacre. Such a move would get in the way of the PA Arab’s growing prosperity, which the IDF believes is the key to preventing the spread of terrorism.

Many have noted this week and last that the PA security forces have been completely absent from the recent terrorist events, and the IDF must rely on its own intelligence and forces to thwart future attacks and suppress terrorist activities. The IDF estimates that about 200 full-blown armed attacks on Jewish civilians and soldiers were prevented this year. That’s close to one bloody attack per day. The Palestinian Authority whose only real job from Israel’s standpoint is to assist in curbing terrorism is not delivering, despite those refreshing get-togethers between DM Benny Gantz and Chairman Abbas.

At the same time, Hamas is starting fires in Judea and Samaria while protecting its industrial peace and prosperity at home in the Gaza Strip. This push will increase the closer we get to the High Holidays when hundreds of Jews will roam the Temple Mount and Hamas will warn about the Israeli takeover of al-Aqsa – the usual stuff. But Hamas is not the only culprit, and neither is the Islamic Jihad. The current situation reflects what little influence the Palestinian Authority has in the war against the chaos, and its failure to maintain order and collect illegal weapons has created a law-and-order vacuum, into which enter free agents, including armed men who forge local government, Heart of Darkness style, challenging both the PA and Israel.

In the end, the only effective way to repress these dangerous phenomena is what the IDF will do this coming Rosh Hashanah: impose a lockdown on Judea and Samaria, and the way things stand right now, it will be the kind of lockdown where if you move you might not move anymore.

And then, the IDF may have to stretch this lockdown until Rosh Hashanah 5784.


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