Friday, Sept. 23, the day Mahmoud Abbas applied for UN recognition of a Palestinian state, an Israeli called Asher Palmer, 25, and his one-year old son Jonathan were killed by a novel Palestinian method of murder while driving home on the Hebron road. This is how it works: Instead of standing around for a passing Israeli car, throwing rocks and maybe getting caught, Palestinian terrorists have devised the drive-by rock-throwing method. Two or three Palestinians sit in a car holding a large rock ready. They hurl it at the windscreen of an oncoming Israeli car and drive off at speed.
The lethal rock they tossed at the Asher Palmer's car was roughly the size of a football.
In that incident, the Israeli police, in their zeal to keep the situation under control at the behest of their superiors on a particularly inflammable day, were caught lying. They claimed the two deaths were caused by a road accident because the army had reported no cases of stone-throwing on that particular stretch of road. This is explained, say debkafile's counterterrorism sources, by the Palestinian's new method: Since they never have to leave their vehicle, they can quit the murder scene at top speed before the alarm is given without leaving a trace.
In subsequent bulletins, the police elaborated on the lie: They claimed the Palmers' car had accidentally overturned and landed on a rock which smashed the windscreen and hit the driver.
Even after it was apparent that the two Israelis were murdered by Palestinian terrorists, the police carried on the charade. Sunday, Sept. 25, they applied to the Jerusalem magistrate's court for permission to carry out a post mortem on the bodies. But here, they were finally brought up short: Judge Alexander Ron decided to respect the family's wishes and refused the police application.
If as you say it was only a road accident and not a terrorist attack, why do you need an autopsy? The judge asked. The bodies were released that day and the grieving family was allowed to bury them.
However, the Israeli police are left with a serious case to answer: They were caught lying to the public. Instead of doing their job, they acted to save the politicians from embarrassment and were therefore seriously out of line. It was the first time that Israeli officials had deliberately covered up a terrorist attack.
The Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich and police commissioner Yohanan Danino are under pressure for action against the officers responsible for deceiving the public. Someone should take the rap to make sure it never happens again. Police credibility is at stake.