Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Fortified bus stops for Jerusalem commuters after latest terrorist outrage - DebkaFile

by DebkaFile

No sooner is one category of targets secured than the terrorists find a new vulnerable point for striking at citizens

For months now, Palestinian terrorists have been using their cars to run down Jerusalem bus commuters as easy victims. Knocking people down may not be enough. The terrorist often jumps out of his vehicle and wields a knife to kill his surviving victims.

Monday, Dec. 14, a young Palestinian from the Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina crashed his Mazda into a crowd waiting at a bus stop at the northern entrance to Jerusalem, near the central bus station. He injured 14 people, including a woman and her baby of one and four months. Doctors are trying to save his crushed foot. Four others were seriously hurt.

The terrorist was about to jump out of his car and wield the murderous new axe he had in his car when a civilian passing by drew a pistol and shot him dead in time to avert a massacre.

Jerusalem’s main thoroughfare, Rte 1, which cuts through the city from west to east, has been plagued by vehicular terror, causing death and injury to soldiers and police. On Oct. 13, Rabbi Yeshayahi Krishesky was standing at a bus stop on Malchei Israel Street when a terrorist smashed into the bus queue, then using an axe murdered the rabbi and injured two others.

The hundreds of thousands of Jerusalem commuters who wait at bus and rail stations are sitting targets for this type of terror. Finally, after the attack on Monday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Jerusalem Mayor Ni Barkat decided they should have some protection. The best solution they offered was a plan to fortify some 300 bus stops according to a list drawn up by the police and transport ministry as the most vulnerable to attack. The project will cost some two million shekels (around $750.00) and take at least a month to finish.

However, as debkafile’s counterterrorism sources point out, keeping up with the targets of the current wave of Palestinian terror is like chasing phantoms. It has already claimed 22 lives and injured 252 people, 21 very seriously, since it erupted in September.

These terrorists turn up like smoke anywhere and everywhere like shadows.

No sooner is one category of targets secured than the terrorists find a new vulnerable point for striking at citizens, who are trying to go about their business as usual, while looking over their shoulders for the next blow.

The bus stops along Rte 1 were the first to be fortified. Then, for a while, soldiers were posted there until they were suddenly withdrawn without explanation. Now 300 bus stops will be barricaded and at some point, security guards may be posted inside the buses to avert attacks on passengers.

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s first comment after the latest ramming attack was to say this was another instance of individual terror

He was quickly proven wrong by two unforeseen events:
1. The Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas went on record Monday night as saying that he understands the terrorists and can see why young Palestinians feel the urge to harm Jews.

2. Abbas’s comment and the bus stop attack coincided with the publication of a new opinion poll released by the Palestinian authority in Ramallah: 67 percent of those canvassed were in favor of stabbing and car attacks, the most common forms of terror in the current campaign, while 31 percent were opposed.

A second poll showed 79 percent of Palestinians in favor of attacking Israeli soldiers and settlers compared with 10 who were against.

These two events demonstrated that the current wave of terror, far from being the work of lone wolves, has the blessing of the Palestinian Authority and popular backing from the Palestinian grass roots. It won’t be defeated or eliminated by extemporaneous measures or peter out of itself. It needs to be recognized for what it is and pulled out by the roots.



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