By Aryeh Savir
Tazpit News Agency
US Secretary of State John Kerry, in a recent television interview, asked rhetorically if Israeli opposition to peace negotiations with Palestinians was driven by a desire for “a third Intifada.” “The alternative to getting back to the talks is the potential of chaos,” Kerry said. “Does Israel want a third Intifada?”
Shlomo Vaknin, the chief security officer of Judea and Samaria, told Tazpit News Agency in an exclusive interview thinks that while there is an escalation in the violence, in no way is Israel experiencing a third Intifada.
“The current situation is in no way like the second Intifada. What I fear is that there will be an outstanding event that will spiral everyone into intensive warfare. I urge the security forces to use their full arsenal of offensive capabilities to stem this growing tide of violence against Israeli citizens” Vaknin stated.”There have been eight major terrorist attacks in the past two months. This requires the security system to rethink its pattern of operations,” continued Vaknin. “The terrorists are becoming more daring, and in some places the volume of attacks has become incomprehensible. Many attacks are not reported because there were no casualties.”
Vaknin does not believe these attacks are organized and coordinated, but thinks there is a snowball effect in motion, “No one is coordinating these attacks but there is a general atmosphere of violence and incitement. When potential attackers see the success of their peers they are motivated to act likewise.”
Major General (Ret.) Gadi Smani, former head of the IDF’s Central Command, stated in a radio interview last week that he views these events as a phenomenon and not only a chain of coincidences. He believes Israel is facing a wave of terror, and should respond in kind. He is championing the reinstating of the demolition of terrorist’s homes as a punishment and to serve as a deterrent for future potential attackers.
The murder of IDF soldier Eden Atias last Wednesday was the last in a string of fatal attacks against Israelis in the past two months. Israeli residents are experiencing a sharp increase in violence perpetrated by Arab terrorists. The stone attacks are ongoing, with a murderous potential with every stone. The quality of attacks has improved.
On November 11th, an Arab woman attempted to attack soldiers at the Tapuah junction. The woman was arrested and taken for questioning. On November 8th, a Molotov cocktail was thrown at the vehicle in Gush Etzion, south of Jerusalem. The two passengers escaped from the burning car, which was consumed by fire. The woman was severely injured and her husband sustained minor injuries. On November 7th, an Arab was shot after he tried to stab a Border Policeman at a roadblock near Abu Dis, east of Jerusalem. That same, a Palestinian terrorist at the bus stop at the Tapuah junction opened fire with an improvised weapon at IDF and Border Police soldiers stationed there. The soldiers shot and killed him. On the night of November 6th, a Palestinian vehicle leaving the village of Ni’lin drove by an IDf force and the passengers opened fire. No one injured. The IDF has further uncovered weapons in the Kasbah in Hebron and at a roadblock south of Tulkarm last week.
The IDF’s command seems ambiguous on how to relate to these recent incidents. So far the prevalent approach is that these are a string of uncoordinated and unrelated attacks. However, they have registered a certain degree of concern.
It is yet unclear what is to develop and how far things will go, but it is certain that the intensity of the attacks has increased and that the daring of the terrorists has increased. This, together with the release of the Palestinian terrorists as part of the current peace talks indicates that the citizens of Israel may be facing difficult times ahead.