Another chapter has closed on the horrible cycle of killings and revenge murders that plagued the West Bank in the weeks before Israel launched Operation Protective Edge. A joint team of IDF, Shin Bet and Border Police cornered the two Palestinian boys and murdered them. I use the deliberate term “murder” though you will never see any Israeli source admit this. Here is what I wrote about today’s incident (two and a half months before it happened!):
There is one thing of which you may be certain: when and if they are found, they will be summarily executed. Of course, it won’t be presented to the media that way. The IDF never puts a bullet in a Palestinian from point blank range. It’s always: ‘the terrorist fired at soldiers who returned fire and killed him;’ or when told to surrender he fired a fusillade of bullets, which the IDF responded to, killing him.’
Here is the official statement announcing the murders:
[Israeli censorship] permits us to announce that after a joint intelligence operation of the Shabak, in collaboration with the IDF and Border Police, the hiding place of Marwan Qawasmeh and Amer Abu Aysha, two residents of Hebron who carried out the kidnapping and murder of Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Sher, and Eyal Yifrah, was located. There was an attempt to detain the suspects as a result of which there was an exchange of fire in the course of which the suspects were hit.
Note the use of the euphemism “hit.” They don’t even want to acknowledge they were killed. My Israeli source called it a ‘targeted killing.’ He says the force intended to liquidate them. It hardly mattered whether they fought back or surrendered.
Hebron’s Palestinian governor confirmed that the suspects were executed:
“It’s clear now the two martyrs, al-Kawasme and Abu Aysha, were assassinated this morning during a military operation in the Hebron University area. We condemn this crime, this assassination, as deliberate and premeditated murder,” he said.
Today’s Haaretz further confirms this account. Note the firepower brought to bear:
The Shin Bet said that the two suspects, Marwan Qawasmeh and Amer Abu Aisha, were hiding in a house in the West Bank. Israeli forces approached the house with an excavator vehicle and fired a rocket at the house, according to Palestinian reports.
You fire a rocket into a house to kill those inside. You bring an excavator to bury the victims alive. If there was a firefight as claimed it was the equivalent of a peashooter against an F-16. This was an execution. The state equivalent of a mob hit.
Israel’s foreign ministry hasn’t gotten the Shin Bet’s memo. The headline of its press release says the Palestinian suspects were “apprehended” and the body of the release says they were “hit” by Israeli fire. There is not even a mention of the fact that they were killed.
It should be noted the much higher level of ‘civilization’ evidenced by today’s Shin Bet compared to the primitive values displayed in the 300 Line bus hijacking. After two Palestinian hijackers were captured alive, a Shin Bet agent took a rock and stove their heads in with it: cold-blooded murder. After the Shin Bet tried to blame the IDF for the murders, the IDF fought back and the truth was revealed. Even after the truth was known, the political echelon, including that august nonagenarian, Shimon Peres, rallied to the murderers and gave them a Good Housekeeping seal of approval. No one was ever charged or punished.
Now, things are so much cleaner. There are no photographers or reporters allowed on the scene of today’s targeted killings as there was in the Line 300 incident. All the actors play their parts and have them rehearsed, including what to say in the aftermath. The blood is swept away. The crime vanishes, just like Hitchcock’s “lady” in that vintage film. After the killings the trigger man goes out with his comrades and celebrates with a drink at the pub. A job well done.
Some near-sighted people may look at this as the closing of the circle on the developments that subsequently led to the killing of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, the Israeli pogroms in the West Bank, Hamas’ revenge rocket salvos and Israel’s response leading to the murder of 2,100 Gazans. This may be the end of a chapter. But the end of the book is nowhere in sight. Unlike Churchill who said it wasn’t the beginning of the end, but perhaps the end of the beginning–this isn’t that. This is yet another bloody spiral which will continue ad nauseam, thanks to the impotence of the world community to end the violence and injustice. This is a horror movie that keeps producing more victims, allowing Freddy to continue his spree forever.