Hadera Retargeted for Palestinian Terror

The small provincial town of Hadera has the bad luck to be situated on Israel’s narrow waist between the Mediterranean and the West Bank – minutes away from the Palestinian towns of Jenin (“SuicideCity”) and Tulkarm. Hardly a month goes by without a Palestinian terrorist attack in its small, crowded downtown. Sunday’s was one of the worst. As a Mitsubishi jeep crawled past a bus stop, one Palestinian jumped out and both he and the driver opened up with M-16 automatic rifles on the waiting commuters. Two passing police detectives quickly jumped in and shot them dead – but not before they had cut down 60 passers-by and killed four women: Smadar Levy, 23, and Ayalah Levy, 39 – both from Moshav Elyachin, Lydia Marco, 63, from Hadera, and Sima Menahem, 30, from Zichron Yaacov. Three of the injured were in grave condition.
While Jihad Islami proudly claimed responsibility for the daring act, Israeli security authorities identified them as Palestinian policemen. While their jeep carried Israeli number plates, they stowed their Palestinian plates in the vehicle’s trunk, open to a cursory inspection.
As debkafile ‘s terrorism and intelligence sources have reported frequently, these quasi-official death squads operate more and more blatantly under orders from the General Intelligence Chief, Tawfiq Tirawi, who obeys no one but Yasser Arafat in person.
Responsibility for the first terrorist strike of the day, a drive-by shooting near Kibbut Metzer, in which 22-year old St.Sgt Yaniv Levy, from Zichron Yaacov, died, was taken frankly by Arafat’s Tanzim-Fatah movement.
Throughout the day, TV pundits, clearly inspired by the Israeli government’s attempt to prepare the public for the troop pullout from Bethlehem and Beit Jala before the end of the day, presented the Palestinian leader as torn between the conflicting hawkish an dovish factions among his advisers. Those commentators were not deterred by the fact that, the day before, they quoted Arafat in one of his most bloodthirsty speeches declaring to the shouted applause of his followers: “We will win!” three times.
One commentator went so far as to explain that the Palestinian policemen who sprayed the Hadera bus stop were moonlighting for the Jihad Islami in their off duty hours.
All this prevarication meant that prime minister Ariel Sharon, together with his foreign and defense ministers, was determined come what may to go through with the Israeli troop withdrawal from Bethlehem and Beit Jala – in keeping with their promise to US Secretary of State Colin Powell.
Tirawi can count the chickens he has hatched with great satisfaction.
The Palestinians may have promised to keep the two evacuated towns quiet, but that promise is worth as much as their vow to stop shooting at the Jewish quarter of Hebron if Israeli troops quit the two Palestinian hilltop neighborhoods overlooking the quarter. The troops left a fortnight ago. Today the shooting resumed.
A retaliatory strike against Jenin and Tulkarm will not make Hadera safer. Local police chiefs have declared time and again that there is no way to block off outside access to the town, implying that terrorist prevention must start somewhere else. Occupying the two Palestinian towns is no answer either, because the Israeli government falls back at the slightest suggestion of arm-twisting. Fiascos are then blamed on military inadequacies. (“You see, even tanks are useless to stop them!”)
The ordinary Israeli sees the simple logic of the view voiced by the US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld Sunday. You can only defend yourself against terrorists by taking the battle into their territory and destroying them there. That logic appears to escape Ariel Sharon, Shimon Peres and Binyamin Ben Eliezer

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