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Tags: idf | jerusalem | sabbath

Preemptive Strikes by Israel Key to Its Survival

jerusalem and dome of the rock

View at the old city in Jerusalem and the dome of the rock in distance. (Vojtech Vlk/ 

Micah Halpern By Tuesday, 31 January 2023 01:09 PM EST Current | Bio | Archive

Palestinian terror ripped through Israel.

Recently, on a Friday night, a Palestinian terrorist murdered seven Israelis outside their synagogue. The worshippers were gathered to mark the start of the Jewish Sabbath.

The synagogue is located in a suburban neighborhood of Jerusalem.

The next day, Saturday, the Sabbath day, a father and son were shot at and wounded by a 13 year old terrorist in Jerusalem. They were walking in the City of David, just below the location of Solomon’s Temple. The young terrorist, the 13 year old, was shot by one of his victims and was taken into custody.

Immediately after news of the synagogue attack celebrations began. Fireworks lit up Arab villages and cities, especially in the city of Jenin.

In Gaza, there were joyous parades and guns were shot into the air.

Hard as it may be for Westerners to imagine, Palestinians were celebrating the murder of innocent Jews, congregating outside their synagogue, on the Sabbath.

The Jewish victims murdered, in the attack were a newlywed couple, a 14-year-old boy, a 68-year-old man, a 56 year-old, a 26 year-old and a 70 year-old Ukrainian-Israeli woman.

Others were wounded.

There are those who call this a cycle of violence.

They claim that Israel set the cycle in motion.

Earlier in the week, the IDF, together with the Shin Bet (Israel’s internal intelligence wing), embarked on an operation in the Palestinian city of Jenin in the region of Samaria.

They were searching to arrest four Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorists who, according to their intel, were planning an imminent attack on Israeli civilians.

The intel was very specific. The timing was essential. The terror attack was pending.

The terrorists were located. They fought.

Other terrorists came to their aid.

It turned into an all-out mini battle in Jenin. In the end, nine terrorists were killed.

According to unofficial sources, a bystander, an elderly Palestinian woman, was killed in the crossfire.

When the IDF entered the home where the terrorist were staying, bomb sappers discovered two live bombs. The IDF photographed the bombs. And then they triggered them to explode, blowing up the house.

The live bombs were proof that the attack was imminent. Had the IDF waited even 12 hours this would be a very different column - not about terrorists in Jenin, but about innocent Israelis murdered by two terrorist bombs.

There is always the worry that an IDF preemptive strike against terrorists may spark a terror response.

But that thought must not stop, must not inhibit Israel from preemptively interceding and stopping terrorist bombings before they happen.

Terrorist bombings which could kill even more than the seven victims of the Sabbath night attack. Israel must continue to act to protect Israelis.

International law, as well as Jewish law, morality and the ethics of war, all approve of preemptive strikes. The logic is simple. A preemptive strike is a classic example of self-defense.

The attack against the synagogue was a lone wolf attack. Lone wolf attacks are perpetrated by terrorists who are not part of an organized group. It is very difficult to prevent lone wolf attacks.

Following the two attacks against their citizens, Israel’s new security cabinet met. One of the proposals they want to bring to the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament, is to institute the death penalty for terrorists.

Until now, Israel has hesitated to take this step. Part of the thinking is that, in a hostage situation, the terrorist will count on staying alive and give in.

Adolf Eichmann is the only person ever executed in the history of Israel.

Eichmann was the mastermind behind the Nazi plan to murder the Jews of Europe.

His expertise was transporting Jews to the factories of death.

In order to execute Eichmann, a special exemption to Israeli law had to be passed.

In response to the IDF operation in Jenin, Palestinian leadership broke off security interaction with Israel. Their announcement was plastered all over local and international press.

Here’s the catch: The terrorist cell in Jenin was almost certainly discovered because of that interaction and cooperation. But don’t think that it’s a one-way street.

There is no doubt that Israeli cooperation with Palestinian leadership keeps them in position. Without Israel, PA leadership would be ousted in a violent coup.

Hamas would have them out — and possibly killed, in a split second.

This causes a problem for Israel.

Israel would like a Palestinian partner.

The partner they have is corrupt and weak.

Too weak to control the terror in their midst.

The PA is grandstanding making public statements — like the declaration to break off security interaction with Israel, they are politically and militarily impotent.

But they are better than the Hamas alternative. To quote Machiavelli, "Better the devil you know than the devil you don't (know)."

In a few days or a few weeks, quietly this time, with no fanfare, security cooperation will resume. No announcement. No press release.

And everything will return to the status quo.

Micah Halpern is a political and foreign affairs commentator. He founded "The Micah Report" and hosts "Thinking Out Loud with Micah Halpern," a weekly TV program, and "My Chopp," a daily radio spot. Follow him on Twitter @MicahHalpern. Read Micah Halpern's Reports — More Here.

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There is always the worry that an IDF preemptive strike against terrorists may spark a terror response. But that thought must not stop, must not inhibit Israel from preemptively interceding and stopping terrorist bombings before they happen.
idf, jerusalem, sabbath
Tuesday, 31 January 2023 01:09 PM
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