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Photo: Reuters
Aftermath of terror attack near Dolev in the West Bank
Photo: Reuters

The West Bank must not become a duplication of Gaza

Opinion: West Bank attacks are carried out by either lone-wolves or locally organized groups hiding any thread that might lead to the Hamas leadership in Gaza that hopes to avoid having to pay a price

The continued attacks in the West Bank over the past few weeks indicate a worrying trend that must be reversed quickly and definitively, in order to prevent the situation in Gaza from being duplicated in the territories.

 

Hamas has taken no responsibility for Friday’s terror attack that killed a 17-year-old Israeli girl, but did celebrate it in every way possible.

 

Rina Shnerb was depicted as a soldier or a settler, her young age was omitted from media reports and her photograph prompted objectifying comments on social media. 

 

Rina Shnerb murdered in terror attack Friday near Dolev on the West Bank (photo: given by the family)
Rina Shnerb murdered in terror attack Friday near Dolev on the West Bank (photo: given by the family)

 

For a moment, it seemed that the only joy the Hamas terror group was able to inspire in the depressed youth of the Gaza Strip was through the killing a Jewish girl.

 

Aftermath of the attack that killed Rina Shnerb near Dolev in the West Bank (Photo: AFP)
Aftermath of the attack that killed Rina Shnerb near Dolev in the West Bank (Photo: AFP)

 

In recent years, beginning with the knife intifada during 2015 and 2016, when "lone wolves" attacked Israeli civilians as well as security personnel, through to the rioters on the Gaza border fence, a trend of "privatizing terror" can be seen.

 

n place of the "traditional model" of an organization that carries out an attack, takes responsibility and pays a price, the attacks have come from individual initiatives, or a hybrid version of localized groups receiving aid from Hamas. 

 

In either case, an effort has been made to cover up any traces leading back to a parent organization, as were active steps that were taken to hide any existence of a chain of command, in order to make it more difficult for Palestinian security forces and Israeli intelligence to connect Hamas to the terror acts, and also to avoid any price the Israelis might try to exert from Hamas's leadership in Gaza for attacks in the West Bank. 

 

The severity of attacks is increasing steadily, from an attacker wielding a simple kitchen knife to the use of complex explosives.

 

It is difficult to ignore the proximity of events to the economic crisis between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

 

Mahmoud Abbas announced that if Israel deducts the amount of the stipends paid to families of Palestinian prisoners from the tax revenue it collects for the Palestinian Authority, he will not touch a dime of the money, forcing painful financial cuts on his government and leaving Israel to deal with the instability that must inevitably ensue.

 

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Photo: GettyImages)
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Photo: GettyImages)
 

 

Israel insists the Palestinian security forces, who carry out most of the arrests and counterterrorism activities daily, are operating as always.

 

But when 20 or 30 percent of their pay is cut, you can be sure you can rely on 30 to 20 percent less motivation. This is the way of the world. 

 

The fact that a round about solution was found recently, in which the Palestinians agreed to take part of the money, allows for some reprieve, but attempts to portray that agreement as an Israeli achievement are ridiculous. In fact, terrorists’ families continue to receive the exact sum of money with the punctuality of a Swiss clock, while Palestinian security forces continue to thwart terror. We have only punished ourselves.

 

Gaza and the West Bank are supposedly one entity but in fact they are two states for two peoples.

 

Palestinians demonstrate along the Gaza border with Israel (Photo: AFP) (Photo: AFP)
Palestinians demonstrate along the Gaza border with Israel (Photo: AFP)

 

Just a few hours after Friday’s terror attack near the West Bank settlement of Dolev, more than 10,000 people arrived at Rawabi, the new upper-class city near Ramallah, for the performance of reality star singer Muhammad Asaf. 

 

Gazans, having endured another Friday of futile demonstrations and more than 100 injured by Israeli forces, reacted bitterly to the enthusiastic posts from the concert goers on Instagram and Facebook.

 

On the eve of the new school year, cobblers throughout Gaza are re-sewing torn school bags and repairing worn shoes.

 

One hundred thousand poor families will receive $100 as a gift from the Qatari government, an artificial resuscitation for the poverty-stricken Gazans. 

 

 

Gaza is a headache that Israel has difficulty dealing with, but the eventuality of a similar reality - with civilians living in poverty, a weak central government and violence - existing in the heart of the country is a far tougher scenario.

 


פרסום ראשון: 08.25.19, 23:49
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