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Israeli Repression of Palestinians Triggers "Lone Wolf" Attacks

By Khalid Amayreh

in Occupied Palestine

PIC, Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, August , 2015


Lone-wolf operations refer to retaliatory attacks by individuals having deep grievances resulting from overwhelming oppression.
Such attacks are almost impossible to categorize or systematize, let alone forecast. It is very hard to predict when and where they will happen.
This type of attacks occurs from time to time in occupied Palestine, especially when the level of Israeli repression of Palestinians reaches exceptionally high levels.
The attacks usually assume several forms, including, inter alia, stabbing with a knife or a similar sharp tool, hitting with a metal object, running over soldiers or settlers using vehicles (vehicular attacks).
Most Palestinians feel such attacks are inevitable if not legitimate due to overwhelming Israeli repression, which includes cold-blooded murder outside the law as well as hefty jail sentences disproportionate to violations committed.
Palestinians are also subject to draconian punishments and reprisals including home-demolitions, land confiscation, stringent restrictions on travel movement, and denial of employment opportunities as well as flagrant incarceration for years without charge or trial.
Recently, the Israeli political-establishment started setting messianic Jewish settlers to attack Palestinian civilians.
Israel denies instructing settlers to carry out "dirty acts" against Palestinians, including setting Palestinian homes on fire, burning mosques and churches as well as terrorizing Palestinian civilians and vandalizing their property.
However, the relentless persistence of Jewish terrorist acts in the West Bank leaves no doubt as to the collusion and implicit coordination between the paramilitary settlers and the military establishment.
The new (old) reign of terror campaign has resulted in some Nazi-like incidents, including the burning to death of a Palestinian toddler, Ali Dawabshe, and his father at the village of Duma, south of Nablus, about two weeks ago.
Israel has utterly failed to put an end to such criminal acts as settlers feel well protected by the security establishment as well as by the brazenly biased justice system which itself is heavily infiltrated by settlers and their sympathizers.
Needless to say, this heavy handed oppression of a people languishing under a harsh occupation for decades serves to narrow Palestinian horizons. It generates a lot of rage, frustration and a burning desire for revenge. It also pushes Palestinian youngsters, both men and women, to the edge.
Hence, the lone-wolf incidents.
The bulk of Palestinians, like all people under the sun, love and value life. Claiming otherwise is illogical and dishonest.
However, when life becomes an enduring and unrelenting nightmare, as is often under the Israeli occupation, many Palestinians, especially youngsters, don't hesitate to harbor second thoughts.
That is why, Israeli criminality is first and foremost to blame for the desperate acts carried out by desperate people whose lives have been crushed to smithereens by the evil acts and policies of the Israeli state.
In fact, we can argue with very little exaggeration that the lone-wolf attacks against Israeli targets are the inevitable "effects" or side-effects of Israel's long-established policy against the Palestinian people, a policy whose ultimate goal is to force as many Palestinians as possible to leave their ancestral homeland.
I am not eager to hurl the Nazi epithets at Jews. However, when Jews think, behave and act like the Nazis did, we should never hesitate for a moment to call the spade a spade.
Yes, Israel is not shipping Palestinians to concentration camps. But Israel is killing Palestinian by other means. Israel is also tormenting Palestinians in a variety of ways, including blockading their population centers and denying them basic human rights and civil liberties.

Needless to say, I can provide a thousand examples to corroborate my argument.
Lone-wolf operations can be prevented

True, it is next to impossible to prevent lone-wolf operations from happening. In the final analysis, one cannot prevent a person so intent on dying from dying.
Moreover, it is well-established that such individuals have deep grievances which they can't reconcile with, as many of them have gone through the painful experience of seeing their relatives murdered before their eyes, or watching their homes blown up or demolished into bits and pieces by indifferent Israeli soldiers.
Sometimes, when the level of oppression reach a certain high level, concern for life by the victims becomes a secondary factor. This is the reality that the Israeli establishment chooses to ignore due to its insolence, recalcitrance and arrogance of power.
As mentioned above, no Palestinian takes his life cheaply. No Palestinian is eager to consign himself or herself to the hereafter for disingenuous reasons.
However, when life becomes worse than death, death becomes a dear and sought-after wish.
None the less, Palestinian youngsters can be dissuaded from embarking on individual attacks, which pop up into one's head at the spur of the moment, if Israel starts treating Palestinians with a modicum of respect and humanity.
Introducing a level of civility and decency into Israel's treatment of the Palestinians would cost Israel absolutely nothing.
On the contrary, it would spare Israeli lives as well as Palestinian lives.
Would Israel be wise enough and smart enough to do it?
I honestly doubt it.

Khalid Amayreh is a Palestinian journalist and current affairs commentator living in Dura in the southern West Bank.


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