Recent Terrorist Acts

February 6 Rahat ­ A 65­year­old woman was stabbed and moderately wounded at the market in Rahat, a Bedouin city in southern Israel. The assailant fled.

February 4 Ramle: Security guard stabbed by two teenage girls outside a building in the center of the city that houses a mall, the central bus station and government offices. The assailants, aged 13, were taken into custody by police with knives in their possession. One was carrying a school backpack.

February 3 Jerusalem: Three terrorists attacked Border Policemen at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem after they were asked for identification. Border Police Cpl. Hadar Cohen, 19, was mortally wounded and died in hospital. A second officer was wounded.  Assailants from the Jenin area were shot and killed at the scene. Police neutralized two pipe bombs.

February 1 Sal'it (east of Kfar Saba): Attempted stabbing. Assailant shot after infiltrating security fence.

January 31 Beit El (Samaria): Three IDF soldiers were wounded ­ two seriously ­ when a Palestinian terrorist opened fire at an IDF checkpoint near Beit El in the West Bank. The gunman was shot and killed by IDF forces at the scene. The shooter, Amjad Sakari, 35, was a member of the Palestinian Authority security forces.

Route 443: A vehicle with Palestinian license plates attempted to burst through a checkpoint and ram into IDF soldiers manning the post. The assailant was shot and taken to hospital.

January 30 Jerusalem: A 17­year­old recent immigrant from the US was stabbed and lightly wounded near Damascus Gate in Jerusalem on Saturday afternoon, while returning from the Western Wall. A 16­year­old Palestinian from East Jerusalem turned himself in to the police.

January 27 Givat Ze'ev (north of Jerusalem): Close to midnight, a man was seriously wounded when a terrorist stabbed him in the upper body at a gas station restaurant. The terrorist, was apprehended at the scene.

January 25 Beit Horon
At about 5 p.m, two terrorists infiltrated the community and stabbed two Israeli women. A supermarket cashier stopped them from entering the busy store, blocking the entrance with a shopping cart. A security guard shot and killed them.

 January 24 Dolev (Samaria): A gunman opened fire at a vehicle driving near the community, firing 6 bullets.

January 18 Tekoa 
A 30­year­old pregnant woman was stabbed and moderately wounded by a 15­year­old assailant outside a clothing warehouse. The attacker was shot.

January 17 Samaria: Stabbing attack was foiled and the assailant shot and killed by security forces. Otniel  Dafna Meir, 38, mother of six, was stabbed to death outside her home. The assailant, 15, from Beit Amra, near Hebron, was apprehended in his home several days later.

January 15 Nebi Salakh   Terrorist attacked security forces with a glass bottle and a knife; an officer was lightly wounded and the assailant was killed. Beit Anoun, north of Kiryat Arba: Attempted stabbing attack foiled, assailant killed by security forces.

January 13
Benjamin region, Arab bus driver was  injured when the windshield was smashed by a rock and a bottle of paint.

January 12 Beit Anoun junction, north of K. Arba: Attempted stabbing attack foiled; 2 assailants killed by security forces.



Too Young to Die

With all the carnage taking place in the Middle East these days, one can easily get disentesized to the violence and death, especially when it's taking place thousands of miles away. Of course, there are always exceptions to this rule. Sometimes an event takes place that breaks through the usual shell of cynicism and makes you look at the most infamous conflict in the recent history from a different angle.

Since October of 2015, the wave of stabbings against Israelis has been almost a daily occurrence. The victims are pretty random. It can be an older woman, a young man, a tourist or a soldier. To qualify as a victim you need to be a Jew or look like one as terrorists do not ask for an identification and sometimes attack their own.

The Damascus Gate location recently has been one of the favorite spots for knife wielding terrorists so Israeli police was on high alert for any potential trouble.

On this Wendsday afternoon a 19 years old Border Police Cpl. Hadar Cohen was part of a three-person squad that spotted three Palestinians behaving in a suspicious manner and asked to see their identification papers. As one of them withdrew his ID card, the others opened fire and pulled out knives to attack the officers.

Young police woman drew her pistol and fired at the terrorist who was stabbing her partner, but another attacker shot her in the head from behind. In the ensuing struggle the third officer shot and killed the remaining terrorists. Later, sappers defused the explosive devices the terrorists were carrying. Given the firepower the attackers had in their possession it could have easily been a major massacre with untold casualties.

"The weapons indicate that a combined attack was prevented by the officers who protected city residents with their own bodies," an Israel Police spokesperson said.

Cpl. Hadar Cohen, who was sworn into the Border Police just a week earlier, was still in training. After the shooting, she and her partner were rushed to the Hadassa Medical Center but doctors were not able to save her life. Her partner, another female officer, is recovering from the multiple stab wounds and is expected to survive.

Hadar's picture is showing a slightly build pretty young woman with a kind smile. At 19 years old, she still looks like a teenager who should be texting her friends about going to the party or to the movies. Instead she was patrolling the Damascus Gate plaza which is usually crowded with tourists and street vendors. Her actions saved the life of her partner and an unknown number of unsuspecting civilians.

Courage is not measured by how big someone is or how loud they talk. There is no stronger emotion in humans than fear of death and no person can predict how they are going to react when faced with mortal danger. Nelson Mandella famously described what bravery is with the following quote: "I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear".

This 19 year old woman showed a heart of a lion and did not hesitate for a second when situation asked for it. Nobody knows what she was thinking at that moment or if she was scared. What we do know is how she handled herself when faced with life and death situation and if was nothing short of heroic.

Another famous man wrote a psalm almost 3000 years ago. It was a young David, future king of Israel, as he was tending the flock of the ship all by himself in the scary wilderness full of vicious predators.

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." Psalm 23:4. This psalm is often read by rabbis when a person is being prepared for the last journey. Hearing it recited during the funerals is usually very emotional probably because it makes us face our own mortality.

Young Hadar will not be alone when she transitions to the better place. She went out on the shield in the way that many men can only wish to go. The Lord will guide her through that valley to the place where all of us be glad to end up.

 As Hadar's family was mourning the loss of their beloved daughter, the families of three terroristss and some Palestinian politicians were using this tragic event for propaganda purposes. Fatah published a picture of the three terrorists who came from Jenin district on the West Bank. On its official Facebook page Fatah officials were praising their actions: “They were three men who competed with each other for martyrdom. Their feet were raised above the hangman's neck. They became role models across the length and breadth of the homeland."

Mahmoud Abbas, the President of Palestinian Authority has praised the three terrorists who murdered Hadar while the father of one of the terrorists said on the PA TV broadcast that his family received the news of his son's "death as a Martyr with joy".

These three wannabe mass murderers are now the role models for the Palestinian youth. And the lesson is that nothing beats killing a bunch of strangers and dying in the process. Didn't we hear the similar type of sentiment just recently from Paris and San Bernardino?

Some Palestinian members of Israeli Kneaset could not resist participating in this carnival of death. Members of the Balad faction of the Joint Arab List – Haneen Zoabi, Jamal Zahalka, and Basel Ghattas met the families of three terrorist. They prayed with them and consoled them. Then they came back to Israel and demanded that the bodies of dead terrorists be returned to their families. “We are defending national and human dignity. It is our duty and our right,” MK Hanin Zoabi declared.

Ms Zoabi must have a perverted understanding of what the dignity is. She did not visit or console Hadar's family, but went out of her way to visit families of terrorists and then made a political sceptical out of this tragedy. That is not dignified, it's despicable.

The way of peaceful resistance Palestinian leadership has been claiming to be pursuing inthe recent past turned out to be just a myth. The cult of death within the Palestinian society is very much alive. The daily shootings and stubbing, stoning of the passing cars and desecration of Jewish graves is the result of brainwashing and outright lies young Palestinians are subjected to from the time they are born.

When the adults in the place of authority praise the terrorists and call them the role models how can it not influence the younger generation. Only a couple of days after Hadar's murder, two 13 year old Palestinian girls stabbed a bus station security guard in the Israeli city of Ramle. They had the kitchen knives hidden in their school backpacks along with pencils and books.

Thomas Friedman of New York Times wrote in one of his articles about how too many young Muslim men "who have never held a job or a girl’s hand, who then seek to overcome their humiliation at being left behind" lash out at anybody whom they see as being responsible for their cituation.

Arab leaders have been blaming Israel for their problems for the last 68 years, since the state of Israel got an independence. Arab spring and its failures reveled that the only thing holding the young Muslim people back is their own governments who refuse to give up power at any cost, even if that cost is thousands of dead Muslims.

The other problem is some of the customs prevalent in Muslim communities, including Palestinian. Try walking around and holding a young woman's hand in Gaza or Ramallah. It can get her killed, sometimes by her own relatives. Those are called the honor killings.

Being a healthy young man who cannot ask a woman for a date or can't marry one because he can't afford it, can drive him crazy. When everyone around tells him that the reason for his problems are the Jews living next door, it does not take a psychologist to predict how much hatred that combination can generate.

Most people try their best to improve their lives through education or other means. There are some others who get hold of the guns, go to the Damascus Gate plaza and shoot a young Jewish police woman from behind.

Unfortunately a cult of death is not limited to the Palestinian society. It is pretty common to see suicide missions perpetrated by young Muslims in many countries around the world. Their victims can be found anywhere from Afghanistan to Mali.

The emergence of the Islamic State and the success they enjoyed spreading their doomsday ideology  touched the minds of a lot of people in the Islamic world and beyond.  ISIS is in the news all the time. Everybody is talking about defeating them but nobody makes a serious effort of actually doing it. As a result they get a lot of free publicity and in the process look unbeatable to their followers.

Thanks to the progress in technology the beheadings and mass killings can be available on the Internet fifteen minutes later for everyone to see. If the ISIS message can reach the people in the Western countries how much trouble would they have influencing young Palestinians where the foundation for the cult of death has been laid long time ago by the likes of Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

It's a big problem when so called moderates like President of Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, join the fray. When they praise the killing of the innocent people it elevates them to the status of terrorist state. They really need to think long and hard if that is where they want to be.

Given the complexity of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the two state solution is probably the most viable option. The process of getting to the that point is going to be filled with very painful episodes like a tragic loss of Hadar Cohen. Unfortunately regardless of how much Palestinians talk about creating their own state at this time they are more interested in destroying the state of Israel.