Thursday, January 09, 2014

Price tag attacks

There have been an increasing series of "price tag" attacks by Jewish extremists against Palestinian property in retaliation for Palestinian terrorist incidents. Although some label the "settlers" who do this as terrorists, that is a bit over-stating it, since they do not attack or kill people. So far they have limited themselves to uprooting trees, slashing tires and writing grafitti. They have also attacked several village mosques. Their activities have been roundly criticized by PM Netanyahu and several government ministers, for exampel yesterday Defense Minsiter Ya'alon called all such attacks "acts of terror in every sense of the word." By comparison Pres. Abbas rarely if ever criticizes the far more violent attacks on Israeli civilians by Palestinian terrorists.

In an unusual incident yesterday ca. 20 young Jewish men went into the Arab village of Kusra on the West Bank either to carry out a price tag attack or because they were hiking in the area, depending on whose story you believe. They were surrounded by angry villagers who wanted to lynch them. They were physically attacked and injured, but, the elders of the village protected them and managed to prevent a more serious incident. They also called the IDF who came in about 45 mins and separated the two groups. Seven Jews were arrested and calm was restored.

These price tag incidents have increased in recent weeks in response to an increase in Palestinian terrorism, including stabbings of guards and civilians as well as attacks on vehicles with stones and Molotov cocktails, which in turn are a response to the continuing peace negotiations going on in Jerusalem and Ramallah. There are clearly extremists on both sides who oppose the major concessions and compromises being floated by the Americans. But, on the Palestinian side there are well organized terrorists from Hamas and Islamic Jihad who are trying all the time to carry out major terrorist attacks in Israel. Yesterday another youth was killed on the Gaza side of the border when a group tried to break through the Gaza-Israel border fence. It's a continual struggle for the security forces to prevent such attacks.


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