Honor killings, particularly in Arab communities, combined with other criminal activity have become a stain on Israeli society, and a poor reflection on the Arab community that lives within the country. The Israeli police are having a hard time maintaining order in many Israeli-Arab neighborhoods, with the latest example happening last week. Two women, Manar Hajaj (34) and her 14-year-old daughter Hadera were shot dead Monday night beneath their residential building when they returned from shopping at the supermarket in the city of Lod.
Terrorist attacks in Israel usually take place in a few key areas, such as eastern Jerusalem and certain parts of Samaria. However, the militant radicals remind Israelis from time to time that no part of the state is off-limits. An example of that was the devastating attack in the heart of Tel Aviv earlier in 2022. Another case to study was the most recent attack in Israel’s Jordan Valley.
Israel’s capital, Jerusalem, is well-known for many things, including traffic. The ancient city in recent years has been trying to upgrade its old road system with numerous projects.
The city’s light-rail and new train station were major game changers in preventing traffic build-up, but now a new “ground-breaking” project will help accommodate those who still chose to navigate the City of Zion by car.
A new segment of road and tunnel opened in Jerusalem that enables travel to Route 1 to Tel Aviv and vice versa from the southwestern side of the city entrance at the Beit HaKarem area near the Begin, it’s called route 16 for some reason, but it’s a connector highway segment pic.twitter.com/6Kbb7xXCwc
After nine years of planning and work, the new road to Jerusalem, road No. 16 named after the late Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, was opened to the public. The new route is designed to improve accessibility to the capital and allow faster and easier access to southern and western parts of Jerusalem. The road connects the main highway, Route 1 which is also known as the 'Jerusalem-Tel Aviv Highway,' to the Givat Shaul industrial area and Be'it Street in the city, near the Givat Mordechai interchange on Route 50, also known as 'Menachem Begin Boulevard.' The connection to Sderot Begin is still under construction.
The IDF has been busy in recent months trying to stop the spread of radical Islam and terrorism in northern Samaria. The city of Jenin located on the northern tip of the west bank has become a hub for the Jihad and Hamas. Many analysts have warned that Jenin, a lawless city where rule of law is not enforced despite being under Palestinian Authority Control, will pose a major security risk to Israel in the coming years, with some even calling it 'the new Gaza.'
Israel's Defense establishment believes that the situation is manageable so long the violence and radicalism financed by the terrorist organizations are contained within Jenin. However, in recent weeks reports have indicated that the Islamic Jihad and Hamas’s shadow is spreading south of the northern West Bank city.
An operation recently near the ancient city of Shechem (commonly referred to as Nablus) in which well-known terrorists, Nihad Avis and Nabil al-Swalhi, were arrested, is another part of the puzzle of countering terrorism. The two carried out the shooting attack last weekend against the security vehicle of the Shevi Shomron settlement, one of five attacks that happened within ten days.
"Nablus is not Jenin, and we are working to prevent it from becoming it," a security official explained in a conversation with Israeli reporters. "We understand and recognize an increase in the numbers of armed men in the Nablus area. This is happening for several reasons. First, the Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and to a lesser extent Hamas, offer money and weapons to anyone who wants to carry out an attack. Any young man who agrees to accept the money instantly becomes a terrorist.”
"The second reason, according to the security source, is that "in these areas, unlike other places in Judea and Samaria, the Palestinian Authority is very weak and reluctant to enter the center of Nablus and the 'refugee camps in the area," he continued.
"The third reason is connected to welfare. Those places where we detect an increase in the amount of terrorism and armed men are poor places. Most of the young people there do not work and live from what they have; when there is an opportunity to get a little money, they take advantage of it." In fact, it is believed that a majority of the attacks of late are carried out by people who have little to no affiliation with the terrorist organizations, and instead are acting out of financial desperation. 'Pay-For-Slay' stipends as they are commonly referred to in Western media, reward the families of terrorists who were killed or captured, and imprisoned by Israel.
"Abbas’ Fatah organization was quick to name a summer camp for young boys after the terrorist. ... Fatah is teaching kids at the camp exactly what terrorist Al-Nabulsi preached: Not to abandon the rifle," writes Nan Jacques Zilberdik of @palwatch. https://t.co/6bzQXUtehc
Unlike in the past, the matter of documentation also takes effect. From the point of view of the IDF, the fact that wanted personnel comes out with their hands up and these images are broadcasted everywhere is a deterrent achievement. However, it does not always end that way. Three weeks ago, local terrorist leader Ibrahim al-Nabulsi was killed after a three-hour battle in the heart of Nablus.
Many of the attacks and subsequent efforts to contain the terrorists end up serving as recruiting tools for new terrorists which is also a deliberate tactic employed by terror groups. The hunter for 'Al-Nabulsi' is an example of this. Videos in which the shootout with Israel Defense Forces went viral as nearly 20 different cameras. Al-Nabulsi even went so far as to record a will in his voice minutes before he was shot dead. At his funeral, the security official said, there was a battle between the Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front - who would place the flag on him. Both organizations wanted to take credit for his actions, claiming him as part of their organizations while both transferred funds to his family members.
The money even buys the family as proven by Al-Nabulsi's mother who made a spectacle during her son's funeral. From over-the-top pictures of grief highlighted by images of her cradling her son's wrapped body while instructing photographers which angle to take the picture from, to later pictures of her brandishing an automatic rifle during her son's procession, the display was required to ensure continued payments and qualify her for a lifelong Palestinian Authority pension under President Abbas' 'pay-to-slay' initiative.
"We encounter less organized and orderly squads that train and move the weapons and targets in a relatively orderly manner. It's a little different," said the security source. "Yesterday's arrest in Kabatia of Alaa Zakharna, who is associated in a certain way with Islamic Jihad, is a little different because Zakharna was part of a terrorist cell that trained and obtained weapons with the aim of carrying out a significant attack in the immediate time frame. But most of the recent arrests are not like that."