From Israel: “Daunting but Absolutely Necessary!!”

Working towards an end to the terror.

Most of you, I will assume, have read my posting put out Saturday night about the horrendous terror attacks endured here over Shabbat.


I must add one more incident, about an attack that was closely averted:  Close to midnight last night, security personnel at Kedumim, a community in the Shomron, spotted a suspicious person – an Arab – outside the gate.  Security cameras showed him sneaking up, and when it became apparent that he was carrying a gun, he was shot dead.   

Residents were alerted to stay indoors. It took some hours, and a thorough search of the area to be certain that there were no accomplices at large, before the all-clear was given.

Credit: Gabi Ivgi/Courtesy

And so, we see there is no end: we cannot say it is over yet.  Not until a variety of measures are in place can we even begin to breath more easily.


I think it’s important for those reading this from outside of Israel to understand the ways in which many of us here are connected at such times.  In this instance, which is not the norm for me, I will be personal.  

I wrote last night about an attempted ramming at Tapuach Junction.  It made the news, but I knew about it even sooner.  A grandson, who was with me, had received a WhatsApp from a friend who was at the junction and witnessed it.

Then I learned that this grandson’s older brother had been in (hesder) yeshiva with the brother of the paratrooper who was wounded by the 13-year-old terrorist on Shabbat morning.

This morning, I found out that Eli and Natali Mizrahi, who gave their lives helping others who had been attacked, used to live in Beit Shemesh, where my daughter lives.  

And so it goes.  


Saturday night (motzei Shabbat), Minister for the Negev and the Galilee, Yitzhak Wasserlauf (Otzma Yehudit), went to Shaarei Tzedek hospital in Jerusalem to visit those wounded in the terrorist attacks.

There he found a boy, unconscious and on a ventilator, and he began to cry:  When Wasserlauf worked as a youth counselor, this boy was in his group. He knew him. It’s personal.


Credit: Time.news


I wrote last night about possible causes of the spate of terrorism but want to add one additional train of thought here.  It has to do with perceptions of Israel: perceptions conveyed that lend an impression of governmental weakness.

After the death of terrorists as part of a necessary IDF operation in Jenin, State Department Spokesman Ned Price delivered one of his infuriatingly even-handed statements.  After offering the requisite condemnation of planned terror attacks, he said, “We underscore the urgent need for all parties to de-escalate.”  A senseless – a vile – political statement that plays to the left and those supporting the PA.  How does Israel “de-escalate” when terrorists are planning to kill innocent Jews?  How dare Price, or his boss Blinken – who, unfortunately, is due here very soon – refrain from offering full support to Israel’s efforts to protect her citizens from terror attacks?  

Credit MEM

I am certainly not suggesting that the terrorists who attacked in the last couple of days are familiar with Prices’s comment, but I do believe an international tone is being set that emboldens our enemies.


And let me segue from Price to what is going on here in Israel.  I’ve reported on the crowds in Tel Aviv and elsewhere who have been gathering to demonstrate against the government.  Ostensibly it is because they believe the judicial reforms being planned by our new government will destroy democracy.  While I have seen their behavior as somewhat hysterical and over the top – a response on the left to losing the election.

What they have done, and not without design, is to give the impression of a very divided nation, with a government that will be short-lived.  THIS, from inside of Israel, potential terrorists are well aware of.

The pledge of these demonstrators – who have been encouraged by Lapid – is that they will continue on a weekly basis, on Saturday night.  That means they demonstrated last night, in the immediate aftermath of the terror attacks.  Not everyone agrees with me (Herb Keinon writing in the JPost today does not), but I believe they should not have gathered to demonstrate at this time. Never mind that the demonstration was more subdued or that they had a moment of silence for those who had been killed.  

It has been a given – at least until now – that in times of crisis everyone stands with the government.  The fact that the demonstrators could not do this, to demonstrate solidarity against potential terrorists, is disturbing.  


Now, as to what our government hopes to do in response to this surge of terrorism.  

As I write I must advise my readers that the decisions are still in process.  Additionally, not all actions being sought by Minister of Public Security Ben Gvir, or by Defense Minister Gallant, may necessarily find their way to actualization – blocked by the attorney general or the Court. But there is a toughening of the government stance, without a doubt. That intention is clear.  Whether it is enough – many would say it is not – remains to be seen.


[] Police are urging everyone who is legally licensed to have to gun to carry it at all times.  Additionally, the process for licensing firearms will be expedited.

I welcome this, as it increases public security.

We have an exceedingly low rate of incidents involving legal guns used again innocent persons.  But there have been several instances in which a private citizen with a gun has acted to take out a terrorist, thereby saving lives.  I note how different this is from the climate in the US.


[] The Security Cabinet also voted to immediately seal the homes of terrorists who have murdered Jews prior to their demolition.

The home of the terrorist who killed seven on Friday night has already been sealed.  The residents of the home (the terrorist himself was shot dead) were told by security forces to leave that night.

Credit: Israel Police

The Cabinet has voted to also seal the home of the 13-year-old terrorist who acted yesterday, wounding two.  This, it seems, was a one-time decision, I would guess because it is so obvious he must have had family support. Ben Gvir is seeking a change in policy going forward that would routinely allow the sealing of the homes of all terrorists even when they didn’t kill; it is under discussion.


Actions taken not just against the terrorists themselves but against their family and friends is an important part of what is going on.  Police immediately detained 42 of the terrorist’s family members and friends, and now five persons including the terrorist’s mother, are being kept in custody.  We hear a great deal about “lone wolf” attacks, but even when terrorists are not associated with a major terror group, there are those aware of what he intends, those who support his efforts either passively or actively.

[] The Security Cabinet has decided that National Insurance rights and additional benefits for terrorists’ families that support terrorism will be revoked.  In addition to being a just and appropriate position, this is of importance as a deterrence.  If potential terrorists are aware of injury to their families that will occur as a result of their actions, it might cause them to think twice.  


Carrying this one step further, legislation on the revocation of the Israeli identity cards of the families of terrorists who have supported terrorism is under consideration.

Defense Minister Gallant (in the blue shirt, below) is on board for this approach.  He met with top brass on Friday, and then issued a statement, in which he indicated that he has instructed his office to examine imposing sanctions against terrorists and their families. With regard to the terrorists, he said:

We will not allow a situation in which a person who receives rights from the State of Israel, murders Israeli citizens and remains a resident of the state.”


Credit: Ariel Hermoni/Defense Ministry

Netanyahu is in agreement on this. His office says the government backs expediting any bill that “strengthens deterrence by exacting a price from those in terrorists’ immediate proximity.” He is seeking preparation of legislation which, additionally, would allow employers to fire workers who express support for terror without the usual required hearing.


The next step, an important one that is being discussed, is deportation of terrorists. Watch the screaming that will take place if we should have the backbone to do this. This would be a powerful deterrent.


Israel Police Commissioner Yaakov Shabtai on Saturday ordered the alert in Jerusalem to be raised to the highest level. IDF troops will be sent in to reinforce the police presence. And IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi ordered reinforcements deployed in Judea and Samaria in preparation for a possible escalation.

On the orders of Jerusalem mayor Moshe Lion, the municipal police will increase their presence in the seamline neighborhoods, effective immediately.

Operations will be set in place to increase arrests and confiscate illegal weapons.  I am dubious as to the efficacy of this plan.  The number of illegal weapons out there is enormous – hundreds of thousands.  And I always wonder why it takes a crisis before the matter of attempting to confiscate them is announced.  In the past, some have been confiscated, but not nearly enough.  This is a close to impossible task, except where there is intelligence about a cache of weapons.


Prime Minister Netanyahu has announced that steps will be taken to boost Jewish settlement.  This is imperative and I will watch this closely.  Bezalel Smotrich will be closely involved in these efforts.  Netanyahu had just announced a decision to give him control of the Civil Administration, in the face of opposition by Defense Minister Gallant.  This was a surprising and encouraging move, and I was about to write about it when the terror attacks took precedence. I will return to this.

Similarly, I am eager to write about actions that Ben Gvir is taking that are encouraging.  He’s tough and going in the right direction.

“The Jerusalem municipality, in cooperation with the police, began the process of demolishing illegal Arab structures in eastern Jerusalem Sunday morning, in according with the policy of National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir.

Forces with bulldozers belonging to the municipality arrived in the Jabel Mukaber neighborhood to begin the demolitions, and from there will continue to other houses and neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem.

Minister Ben-Gvir ordered the preparation for the demolishing of illegal structures in eastern Jerusalem immediately after the deadly attack.”  (Emphasis added)

Credit: Spokesperson


Right on!


Since Blinken will be here soon, I will close with this information about our “peace partners.”

Ata Abu Rmeileh, who is the secretary of the Jenin branch of  Fatah – the party that Abbas heads and which comprises the major part of the PA – had a statement regarding the terror attacks:

“…the intifada has begun, and the war has begun in Palestine, all of Palestine.  It will not stop until [there is] revenge for every pure drop of blood of our righteous Martyrs in the Jenin camp, in Jerusalem, and in all areas of Palestine…we greet and bless these heroic operations in Jerusalem by the heroes of Jerusalem.”


As is the norm, celebrations broke out in Gaza and PA areas of Judea & Samaria, as well as in parts of eastern Jerusalem, at the news of the terror attacks. Fireworks were set off, bonfires were lit, there was celebratory gunfire (they love gunfire), sweets shared in the streets.



© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by independent journalist Arlene Kushner. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution.