The terror attacks Israel cannot thwart
Analysis: Lone terrorists pose an impossible challenge for the IDF and Shin Bet. There is no real security solution to this new-old type of terrorism apart from calming the situation down, on both sides – and that’s the government’s responsibility.
Starting with the kidnapping of the three teens, through the failure to make progress in Operation Protective Edge, which lasted 50 days, to the recent wave of terror attacks – the government is standing on a slippery slope of losing the security-related credit it has been given by the public. The current terrorism may not be an organized intifada, as we were accustomed to seeing in the past, an intifada composed of terror infrastructures from Nablus and Hebron which carry out attacks, and is therefore very complex for the Shin Bet and IDF to thwart. While in the past we used to hear the tale about “the terrorist who dreamt at night about carrying out an attack and was arrested by the Shin Bet in the morning,” it’s now clear that there is a lot of difficulty exposing, through intelligence means, a local initiative by an illegal resident, who enters Israel to work in Tel Aviv and decides to pick up a knife and stab a soldier or a civilian. There are no infrastructures, there is no guidance, there is no command. It’s an individual act, and that’s why it’s hard to detect.
A year ago, we witnessed a similar wave of terror attacks in Jerusalem, but those days there was no atmosphere on the street pushing young Palestinians to go out and attack. Today, defense establishment officials are talking about the incitement in the Palestinian Authority, mainly from Hamas, which is adding fuel to the Temple Mount fire. The heads of the defense establishment will not say anything in public against Israel’s senior political officials who are “fueling” the events with their statements and actions, but they would be very glad to see them stop. Because the truth is that there is no real security solution to the new-old type of lone terrorists apart from calming the situation down, on both sides. Until they calm down, the army and the police will take several steps: First of all, they will increase the enforcement against illegal residents, who infiltrate Israel through the breaches in the separation fence in order to work here. So far, despite the defense establishment’s demands, these holes have not been sealed, and they can cross the Green Line quite easily.
The second action will be to boost the military presence in Judea and Samaria. The army will dispatch larger forces there to try to give the residents a sense of security.
The third action will be to increase the deterrence. The method which is being examined, once again, is to demolish the terrorists’ homes. Opinions are divided on the effectiveness of this move.