srael’s city centers will very soon see knots of soldiers armed with special rapid response weapons and gear for scotching Palestinian terrorist attacks before they deteriorate into rampages. Some of them will hide behind sandbag walls. Their deployment reflects the decision to persist in Israel’s defensive strategy as articulated in a special security forum summoned by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Tuesday and Wednesday, March 8-9, in the face of surging Palestinian terror.
Other members of the forum are Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, Public Security Minister Gilead Erdan, Shin Bet Director Yoram Cohen, Police Commissioner Ronnie Alsheikh and assorted security experts and evaluators.
Dubbing its strategy “containment of terror,” the forum rejected the more proactive measures suggested by members of the opposition, as well as government members, for cracking down on Palestinians resorting to terror and their supportive environments, by such deterrents as long-term lockdowns of their neighborhoods (in Jerusalem too) and villages, the blockage of internet and cell phone services in Palestinian areas and the deportation of families of terrorists to the Gaza Strip.
One suggestion was to “relocate” to other parts of Palestinian Authority-ruled territory the kinsmen who are complicit in, or have knowledge of, a terrorist’s crimes.
All in all, after three Israeli cities were struck by terrorists in a single day, the top decision-making forum on security precluded offensive military action, including the takeover of the Palestinian towns, villages or districts producing terrorists.
The only change discernible Thursday, March 10, was an intensified police sweep for illegal Palestinian workers employed in Israel.
One of the forum’s members commented to debkafile: The forum's decision amounts to carrying on as before, except that IDF soldiers will boost the security and police forces in their counter-terror functions.
Other sources maintained that the policymakers are not about to change much, despite the spike in attacks to two or three a day on average, and the increasing use of firearms by the assailants.
It is estimated that a hard core of 200-300 young Palestinian hotheads is orchestrating the violence, whether street disturbances, rocks, firebombs, knifings, car-ramming or drive-by shooting. They use social media for internal communication and for stoking the angry fire that sends Palestinian youths out to seek glory as martyrs by killing Jews.
debkafile’s intelligence and counterterrorism experts note that the Netanyahu government has followed a policy of “terror containment” for nearly two years, ever since Hamas kidnapped and murdered three Israel teens at the Gush Etzion intersection on June 12 2014.
While Israelis argue back and forth on methods for putting a stop to the Palestinian violence, its level keeps on rising. On Wednesday, a Palestinian car with guns poking out of its windows rampaged in the middle of the day through the streets of Jerusalem in search of victims.
“Containment” is no deterrent for terror. After the guns, bombs may be next.