It’s pretty difficult to pinpoint anything resembling a starting point for the latest violence; prior to last week, Israeli forces killed 19 Palestinians since July, compared to four Israelis who were killed. The violence is neither unilateral nor arbitrary.
The latest escalation between Israel and the Palestinians has taken lives on both sides over the last week. The Israeli media is now describing the violence as a new “wave of Palestinian terror.” Commentators have said that it’s not clear yet whether this is a third Intifada, indicating an organized uprising, since the attacks appear to have been perpetrated by individuals. But they are unquestionably acts of terror.
Israeli media tells a very simple story: the attacks are happening to us unilaterally and unpredictably, their arbitrary nature makes life in Israel terrifying and fragile. The only possible explanation for the uptick in Palestinian violence, observed Israeli officials such as Police Commissioner Yochanan Danino and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, is that Palestinian extremists hate the peace negotiations currently underway.
Consider the main violent events over the last week. The IDF ambushed and killed two Palestinians on Thursday, December 19, in separate incidents that took place in Jenin and Qalqilya. The army told news agencies that the men were wanted for shooting at soldiers, which Palestinians dispute in at least one case.
The next day, Friday, December 20, IDF shot and killed a Gazan civilian and wounded his brother, both in their 20s. Ynet quoted the IDF spokesman saying the two had approached the fence in an attempt at sabotage, and did not respond to warnings. Haaretz later reported that the wounded brother said the two were collecting plastic and metal scraps. The report added that they were known in the neighborhood as having made their living collecting plastic and metal shards from the dumps. Garbage scrounging is a familiar source of income for some Palestinians, in the...Read More