Response to Dancing to Sharon's Beat


maybe you are right - it was very late.... here is something for you D Successful prevention versus high motivation By Ze'ev Schiff The war on Palestinian terror is characterized by two opposing and significant traits. On the one hand, there is Israel's success in foiling terror attacks through the apprehension of numerous killers and the removal of thousands of terrorists from the enemy ranks. On the other hand, despite the success in preventing attacks, more Palestinians are continuously joining the terror enterprise, in a sign of high motivation on their part. Since Passover eve about two weeks ago, there have been 25 terror attacks, including two suicide bombings in Israel. The statistics are a good indicator of both trends. Since the start of Operation Defensive Shield on March 29, 2002, when the Israel Defense Forces entered Palestinian cities in the West Bank, 54 Palestinian suicide bombers have died in suicide attacks. In the same period, 58 such attacks were foiled and most of the would-be bombers were apprehended. Most suicide bombers come to Israel from the West Bank, not the Gaza Strip. Since the beginning of this intifada (in late September 2000), there have been 189 Palestinian suicide bombers; of these, 112 carried out their attacks and 77 were apprehended before they could do so. One indicator of the scope of the suicide-bombing phenomenon encouraged by Yasser Arafat is that there have been 30 female suicide bombers, but only four of them got as far as activating their explosives; the rest were apprehended. The opposing trends are also evident in the number of arrests, the identity of the arrestees and the number of Palestinians who were involved in terror and killed - 472 have been killed and another 3,351 have been arrested by the Shin Bet, including 1,331 in administrative detention. The Shin Bet prisoners are suspected of involvement in terrorist actions - in other words, most have "blood on their hands." The Shin Bet can therefore say 3,823 Palestinians who were involved in terror have been taken out of the picture. Another group of prisoners is in the custody of the IDF and the Israel Police; most of them are administrative detainees. The total number of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli hands is 5,545. Against its will, the IDF has been transformed into a prison service, too. Two to three regiments of reservists are needed to run this service and the men are not happy to be doing this work. If so many of the suicide bombers had not been caught in time, the losses suffered by Israel would have been astronomical and could have had a strategic impact, which is precisely the objective of Hamas, Fatah Tanzim and Islamic Jihad. The Tanzim joined the terror effort in the past two years, but Hamas and Islamic Jihad were planning and perpetrating suicide attacks before, even during the tenures of Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres as prime minister, when cooperation with the Palestinian security organizations was supposedly good. In the period before the outbreak of the intifada, there were 43 suicide bombings and "sacrifice attacks," such as shootings on the streets of Tel Aviv. Israel's achievements in preventing attacks are considered a professional success and have drawn the interest of foreign intelligence organizations. The intelligence is provided by the Shin Bet and Army Intelligence. This achievement is primarily manifest in the rapid connections that have been created between the intelligence-gathering arena and the operational arena - which includes many operational units, the air force and the police, and is immediately activated. Every operation - and there are many - is run from a war room, where intelligence and operational representatives work together. On the intelligence side, the deputy chief of the Shin Bet is responsible for overseeing this work. As for the endless flow of terror attacks and potential suicide bombers: Yes, the number of attacks is declining and the attackers' ranks include more and more small fry, but the latter are also capable of inflicting major losses. This parallel trend obviously attests to high motivation that is fueled by hatred and a desire for revenge. The other lesson is that the number of suicide bombings and terror attacks that originate in the Gaza Strip, which is enclosed by a security fence, is very low. In the wide-open West Bank, it's difficult to combat terror without remaining in the area. If the Palestinian Authority does not genuinely cooperate in the war on terror, the occupation, in all its ugliness, will necessarily intensify - and generate more terror.

Created By: eyal kless