In Judea and Samaria, Palestinian mob violence grows as the search continues for the killers of Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Frankel and Gilad Sha’ar.
Israel is fighting to defend her citizens from Palestinian terrorism on every front. While the eyes of the world are turned towards terrorist rockets and drones emanating from Gaza in the south and Lebanon in the north, Israeli security forces must also deal with outbreaks of violence from within Judea and Samaria (the West Bank).
Arab mob violence is not unknown in Judea and Samaria but it has gotten worse in recent weeks following the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers, the killing of an Arab teen and the launch of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge. Clusters of Arab men and boys armed with large rocks, explosives and bottles target Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers as well as civilians. In previous attacks, large stones used as missiles have injured and killed Jewish men, women and children who had the misfortune to be driving in the vicinity of one of these uprisings.
Now, perhaps emboldened by the surge in missile attacks from Gaza and angered by Israel’s determined response, according to some commentators, Palestinians have stepped up their rioting in Judea and Samaria. Flashpoints in recent days have included the Hawara security checkpoint in Nablus (Shechem), the Qalandya checkpoint in Ramallah and various locations in and near the city of Hebron.
A violent incident near Hebron early Monday morning, which included the use of firebombs and other deadly projectiles, resulted in the death of a Palestinian man who was reportedly shot by the IDF.
Search for Murderers Continues
In addition to dealing with these unpredictable outbreaks of mob violence, Israel’s security forces continue to hunt for the killers of Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Frankel and Gilad Sha’ar. Much of the search is centered in Hebron, where authorities believe the two Hamas operatives responsible for the crimes are stationed. The IDF arrested 25 Palestinians overnight as part of their investigation, according to an IDF spokesperson.
The residents of Judea and Samaria have also been on the receiving end of Hamas rockets fired from Gaza. Missiles, presumably intended to hurt and kill people in Jerusalem, have landed instead in Hebron and Bethlehem, and the Iron Dome missile defense system has shot down a rocket over the city of Ariel.
The Israeli security forces continue to do their utmost to prevent and reduce civilian injuries and deaths. The Civil Administration for Judea and Samaria, in cooperation with the Palestinian Authority, has issued guidelines in Arabic telling Palestinians what to do when the warning sirens go off in their areas, according to media reports.
Israel Cannot Relinquish Security Control
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a press conference on Friday that the security risk is too great to allow Palestinian control over Judea and Samaria.
“I think the Israeli people understand now what I always say: that there cannot be a situation, under any agreement, in which we relinquish security control of the territory west of the River Jordan,” said Netanyahu, according to a translation by The Times of Israel. “If we were to pull out of Judea and Samaria, like they tell us to, there’d be a possibility of thousands of [terrorist smuggling] tunnels.” He added, “At present we have a problem with the territory called Gaza” and he wouldn’t “create another 20 Gazas” in Judea and Samaria.
Author: Sherry Miller
Staff Writer, United with Israel