A house in the village of Halamish, which isn’t too far from Ramallah and Jerusalem, is completely covered in blood. The floor of the kitchen is so red that it’s difficult to distinguish the color of the floor itself; four bodies are riddled with knife wounds, as if a tiger had carried out his hunt: there are three people from the same family, the father in his 60s, and a daughter and son in their 40s, who are dead. The mother is on the verge of death, but she will be saved by the EMTs, and while we are writing, she’s recovering at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center and still doesn’t know about the fate of her loved ones.
There were about 10 people at the table, for the holy dinner of Shabbat. However, nothing except attacking Jews is sacred for Islamic terrorists. The slain son’s wife was able to take refuge in a room of the house with the children from where she not only called the police, but also screamed for help from the window, “There’s a terrorist inside the house.” A young IDF soldier on weekend leave ran to the scene and through the window shot and wounded the terrorist, Omar al-Abed, 19, from the nearby village of Kobar. He was injured and taken to the hospital and later handed over to the security services for questioning.
He replied to their questions by giving a summary of what he had written in his farewell message posted on Facebook: “I defend the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Muslims’ honor. I only have a knife and it will answer the call of Al-Aqsa. You start a war amongst us and Allah will judge you for it. I hope that after me there will come men who beat you with an iron fist. I had dreams and ambitions, but now in order to defend Al-Aqsa I am going and will not return.”
Instead he went and killed as a wild beast. His priors demonstrate that he must have prepared the attack well: Abu Mazen’s security forces arrested him three months ago for allegedly planning attacks.
How was this terrorist made? He is not special at all. He simply responded to a systematic, prolonged, insistent and exclusive education in which Palestinian minds are subjected to since birth. The situation over these last days starting with the July 14 terrorist attack that took the lives of two young Israeli Druze police officers on guard duty, to the clashes in which three young Palestinians were killed by Israeli security forces, and up to Friday night’s horrible bloody attack, has to do overall with the propagandist invention that — in fact — is the only way for the Palestinians to keep alive the idea that there exists a struggle in which they play an important role for the Arab world, which is in many respects tired and unconvinced of Arafat and Abu Mazen’s infinite, repetitive war, which only knows how to say no and kill, and swallows enormous sums of undisclosed money.
Increasingly, the most important issue that, in fact, is being stressed at present, is the Islamic religious one, the continuous repetition of the slogan that the Al Aqsa Mosque is in danger: even now after the attackers on July 14 had left the Mosque itself wielding homemade automatic weapons, the controversial and painful though logical decision by Israel of putting metal detectors in front of the Temple Mount and blocking entry last Friday to anyone under the age of 50, has been described as an attack on Islam. In Israel, discussions like always have become heated: the Prime Minister is accused of having entrusted the decision to the police. Netanyahu has repeated that this is a temporary decision that “does not constitute any change in the status quo,” and therefore to restore shortly uncontrolled entry.
Yet the bite was too good for Hamas, and for all the Arab politicians and Islamic fanatics: so after the condemnation to the first attack on July 14, Abu Mazen has again jumped back on the crowded bus (also on it are Erdogan and the Jordanian Parliament) calling for incitement and even announced — against his interests — of interrupting all relations with Israel.
The terrorist’s brother has been arrested; actually, the entire family is linked to Hamas, although it is not known whether the action was planned, what the father and other members say repeats the religious mantra for which the aggressors of faith and Islamic dignity are the Israelis. Whatever Israel will do this will coninue today tomorrow and the day after. The metal detectors have nothing to do with the crisis. The clash will not cease with the destruction of metal detectors, but only when Palestinian incitement against Israelis will end. But this seems highly unlikely.
Translation by Amy K. Rosenthal
This article originally appeared in slightly different form in Italian in Il Giornale (July 23, 2017)