When the government limits defensive activity by soldiers and citizens, it should not be surprised when those soldiers and citizens fall victim to Arab attacks, said MK Bezalel Smotrich (Jewish Home) Sunday. Reacting to the news of a shooting attack near Kedumim on Sunday, Smotrich said that a recent order forbidding IDF soldiers from firing their weapons unless their lives were directly threatened was feeding the fuel of terrorism, and would result in even more attacks.
“Last month, the rules for opening fire became much tougher,” he said. “The army's hands are essentially tied in using weapons to prevent terror. The new rule is just another aspect of why Israel is losing its ability to control the situation, as there is less for terrorists to fear when they attack Israelis.”
Earlier Sunday, Arab terrorists opened fire on an Israeli vehicle traveling past the Jit intersection near Kedumim in Samaria. The driver, 46, was slightly wounded by shrapnel in his hand, but managed to continue driving to a nearby IDF base, where he was treated by the Ephraim Brigades's medics.
He was later brought by a Magen David Adom ambulance to Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba in light condition.
The terrorists, driving a white Fiat Punto with Israeli license plates, fled after the shooting, in the direction of the Gilead junction. IDF forces are conducting searches in the area.
Similarly, Dr. Ronen Shoval, head of Professors for a Strong Israel, said Sunday an attack by a mob of Palestinian women and children last Friday could have been avoided, had Israel had the deterrence it has been consistently losing in recent years.
The video shows a soldier failing to arrest an Arab boy near Nabi Salah in Samaria who just moments earlier had been throwing rocks at security forces. After initially catching the boy, the soldier is quickly surrounded by Arab women and children who scream at, punch and bite him until a colleague is forced to extricate him, leaving the rock-thrower to go free.
The video has triggered an outcry in Israel, with calls for the IDF to review its rules of engagement, which many have argued are too soft. Yisrael Beytenu leader MK Avigdor Liberman led calls for an urgent inquiry Saturday, contending that political weakness in the face of organized campaigns by foreign-funded NGOs to provoke and prosecute IDF soldiers had led to servicemen feeling powerless to use even the most basic level of force in operations.
“Leftist and anti-Israel groups like B'tselem and Adalah are doing their best to ruin Israel's deterrence, and are conducting successful delegitimization campaigns against Israeli soldiers,” said Shoval. “The results are clear, as can be seen in the infamous video. I feel terrible for the soldier and his commanders, and even worse for the IDF, whose hands are tied.”
Both attacks join a long list of terrorist incidents that have occurred recently on the roads of Judea and Samaria and in Jerusalem. And more can be expected, said Smotrich. “There is no doubt that Sunday's attack is a direct result of the new rules against opening fire against terrorists. This will go on and get worse. Terror will only end when we are able to fight the enemy mercilessly and restore Israel's deterrence.”