13 Feb 2023

Operation Defensive Shield 2

Because of the evil intents and hearts of the Palestinian leadership, Israel is always vigilant against terrorism. Recent forays into terror nests like Jenin have led new National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir to announce a new operation in east Jerusalem, starting this weekend.

(Ben-Gvir of course is the firebrand politician that seems intent on being serious about combatting terrorism. He has given left-wingers heartburn since it was announced he would sit in Bibi Netanyahu’s government.)

I’ve mentioned several times before in this space that on my walks through east Jerusalem, one can always see evidence of the high regard the Palestinians have for the shaheeds, the “martyrs.” Just this week, one of the PA ministers boasted of the monthly stipend checks passed out to families of these dead terrorists, the equivalent of about $1,800 US dollars per month. A sad and pathetic legacy for young men raised on hatred of Jews.

East Jerusalem is home to the Old City, the village of Silwan, Nablus Road, and various hangouts for Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists. Whether it is posters of the shaheeds on streetcorners, or in shop windows in the Old City’s Arab Quarter, terror structures are a thing. The Al-Aksa Mosque on the Temple Mount is the scene of violent rhetoric from imams and clerics, and it has been allowed for years.

Now, Ben-Gvir has his sights set on eradicating the threat.

Whereas other terror attacks are planned by operatives in other areas, east Jerusalem is the nest of the perpetrators of terror attacks very recently, including a Jerusalem synagogue.

Yesterday, a terrorist rammed a crowd in Jerusalem with a vehicle, killing a six-year-old and a 21-year-old. Like in America, men like Ben-Gvir are stymied by weak government officials. The Security Minister wanted to seal the home of a terrorist, but the attorney general wouldn’t okay the move until the next day.

Twenty years ago, the first Operation Defensive Shield was the most ambitious action in Judea-Samaria since the Six Day War. It lasted six weeks and saw vicious house-to-house searches as terrorists refused to give up. In one action in Jenin, the IDF lost seven of its best troops. What left-wingers in the international community refuse to acknowledge is that those troops lost their lives precisely because Israel was working so hard to minimize civilian casualties. While they could have flattened Jenin from the air, they chose to send in troops and put their lives on the line, ironically and infuriatingly at the same time Palestinian terrorists used their own people as shields.

But it’s Israel’s fault.

(I learned a terrible lesson during all this as I wrote about the counter-terrorism operations. Even when one informs the public that Israel was sacrificing her own sons in order to protect Palestinians…few cared. They still wanted to hate Jews. That’s a primary reason counter-terrorism operations are still necessary.)

In all, the IDF suffered a total of 157 casualties in Defensive Shield. I wish those soldiers were still with us.

I would have flattened Jenin from the air.