by: Ilse Strauss
Monday, 9 May 2022 | Israel is mulling launching a military operation to quench the deadly wave of terror attacks in which 19 people have been murdered and dozens injured in less than two months, Hebrew media reported yesterday. The aim of such an operation would not be to apprehend attackers after the fact, but rather to stop prospective terrorists before they can strike.
According to Channel 13 news reporting on a three-hour meeting yesterday between top security officials to brainstorm a solution to the terror onslaught, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Defense Minister Benny Gantz are at odds about the specific target of such an operation.
Gantz—backed by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the Shin Bet (Israeli internal security organization)—wants to focus on the Palestinian-governed areas in Judea and Samaria, particularly Jenin, the home base for most of the Palestinians who committed the terror attacks over the past seven weeks. Bennett, on the other hand, favors taking on Hamas, the Iran-backed terror group acting as the de facto rulers of the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli military setting its sights on Jenin would entail arresting suspects and preventing further attacks emanating from the fundamentalist stronghold as well as additional arrest operations and a general show of force across Judea and Samaria, the reports say.
The IDF stepped up operations in Samaria as the wave of terror started gaining momentum last month, reinforcing its forces with thousands of troops. The increased manpower has, however, not stopped the terrorists from striking.
A Gaza-focused operation would entail targeting Hamas, and more specifically, the Hamas chief in the strip, Yahya Sinwar.
While Sinwar is restricted to the coastal enclave, his reach stretches well beyond. Over the past few weeks, Gaza’s Hamas chief has issued a number of heated clarion calls, urging Palestinians to rise up against Israel’s supposed desecration of the Temple Mount and defend the so-called Muslim holy site using knives, axes, hatchets and any other weapons available.
His impassioned pleas have borne fruit. One of the axe-wielding terrorists who murdered three Israelis on Thursday night left behind a will saying he was spurred on by the tensions on the Temple Mount.
As the terror attacks continue and the death toll rises, a number of Israelis have called on the government to eliminate Sinwar—as retribution of the bloodshed and to silence the incitement. Yet the defense establishment is reportedly against a Gaza operation that includes targeted killings of the Hamas leadership.
The decision whether to launch a military operation—and if so, an operation targeting Gaza or Jenin—has not been taken yet. But according to Channel 12 reports, the verdict is set to come in the next few days.
Posted on May 9, 2022
Source: (Bridges for Peace, May 9, 2022)
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