After three weeks of some decline in the number of terrorist attacks throughout Judea and Samaria, yesterday there was another murderous attack in northern Samaria, this time near the community of Hermesh. The fatality, Meir Tamari z"l, managed with the remainder of his strength to reach S.G. of the settlement, but nevertheless he was pronounced dead at the hospital shortly thereafter.
Although there were those who whispered in their rooms that the attacks had been declining recently, the defense establishment, rightly, did not rush to lower its alert and alertness in view of the assessment that the area was bubbling, and that the next attack was only a matter of time. Indeed, since the beginning of the week there has been an increase in the number of attempted attacks, including opening fire at the communities of Mevo Dotan and Gan Ner, and shooting at a force on a mission to reinforce roads in Judea.
Murdered Meir Shalev in the background of the scene of the attack in Hermesh, photo: TPS
The amount of firearms in Judea and Samaria is unimaginable, and when a terrorist wants to get his hands on a rifle or pistol, he does not have to try too hard, and there are those who will be very happy to give him weapons to carry out an attack. After the terrorist puts his hand on a weapon and decides with himself when to launch an attack, it is very difficult to prevent it, especially if the shooting is carried out from a passing vehicle and while moving, within a few seconds.
The claims made yesterday against the army that the nearby military post was unmanned are unfounded, since the position has not been manned at this time for many years, and it is reasonable to assume that even if it had been manned, the attack would not have been prevented - although it is possible that the forces would have succeeded in closing a faster circle on the terrorist.
Fear of inspired attacks
The serious attack and its aftermath will be the focus of security discussions in the coming days. Already yesterday, right-wing Knesset members called for tough measures and a large-scale military operation in northern Samaria. As we have already reported in Israel Hayom, the issue of a large-scale operation has been on the agenda in recent months against the background of the large number of terrorist attacks and warnings, with some security officials, including the Israel Security Agency, believing that this is an inevitable move, since the dynamics of escalation and attacks feed themselves time and time again, and the ground is bubbling.
Gunmen in Jenin at a funeral this month, Photo: Reuters
It is highly likely that a "successful" terrorist attack, one with many casualties, will drag the Israeli government, certainly the current one, into a large-scale military operation, and some security officials claim that it is better to initiate the operation now so as not to pay a heavy price in blood.
In the meantime, the defense establishment has not yet made a decision on the matter, and until the leadership makes a decision regarding Israel's policy in Judea and Samaria, the IDF is expected to continue its existing policy of night operations in Palestinian towns and villages, aimed at locating weapons, arresting wanted persons, and deterring potential terrorists.
In the coming days, vigilance will be particularly high, since the understanding in the defense establishment is that last night's attack may lead to additional ISIS-inspired attacks, and the ability to calm the area that has been simmering for more than a year is very low, especially in light of the incompetence of the Palestinian Authority and the weakening of its governance.
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