She had the beautiful face of a nineteen-year-old girl, the female border police officer, Hadar Cohen, killed in the early afternoon of Wednesday by Palestinian terrorists in the next step of their anti-Israel terrorism strategy.

Hadar, who had been deployed to serve with the border police only two months ago, together with another twenty year old female officer who was also severely wounded, were patrolling the Damascus Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem.

The young officer, although only two months in service, together with her colleague stopped with her body a massacre planned by three young Palestinians. Ahmed Zaharneh, Mohammed Kmail and Najeh Abu Al Rub managed to penetrate to the center of the city armed with automatic guns, knives and also, apparently, with explosive for two bombs found ready to be detonated.

The suspicious behaviour of the three alerted the two officers who asked for their ID. At that point the terrorists started to stab and open fire. The young officers saved the crowds of Jews and Arabs who customarily cross the gate to enter the Old City.

The three assassins, eventually neutralized after the attack, all came from an area in Jenin, from a little town, Qabatyia, that has become a nest for terror. One of the killers of had been a schoolmate of another Palestinian killed after his own terrorist attack. In order to come from Qabatyia, the three men certainly must have passed several checkpoints, bringing the weapons with them or receiving them along the way.

The complexity of the action and the amount of weapons show an escalation in the terrorism that has already claimed dozens of victims, as well as a specific suicidal determination that in fact Hamas immediately praised, calling it a “blow” to the Israeli security system.

Israel’s media and people discusses how to face this widely diffused terrorist drive among the Palestinians, but it’s extremely difficult: at the moment what can be said is only that it is thanks to the heroic behaviour of two young women that the attack was a failure.

The attack was certainly planned to cause a catastrophe as many others in these days, and it’s very proper that president Rivlin thanked the security police forces and called them a “wall of defence” for Israel’s citizens. Actually, again and again it’s the relationship between the great courage, the never enough noticed behaviour of the security forces and the Israeli civilians that stops the siege day after day.

Because Rivlin’s “wall” is highly targeted by many the attackers: according to the police of the Palestinian Authority, as a new entry five members of a group financed by Iran in Gaza to perform terrorism attacks have been arrested.

The organization, known by the name of a’Sabrin, just like the side Iranian army (beyond the Guardians of the Revolutions) that acts in Iraq and in Syria, had also crossed into the West Bank where the Hezbollah, Iran’s armed wing, had also been discovered with their terrorist bases.

The armed siege, Sunni and Shiite, is therefore various and tighter. And it’s certainly not only material: the intellectual siege is extremely active, but the connection between the two styles is evident.

It should make us ponder that Hamas, in addition to praising the terrorists, in these last few days has also praised and thanked “the academics and researchers of the Italian universities for boycotting Israeli research institutes and universities” with their petition for academic boycotting.

A document that obtained 168 signatures (a rather small number, if you think of the extremely wide academic word in Italy) against conferences, research, meetings held in common with Israeli cultural and scientific institutions… in short, against all that helps an evidently positive contact that makes culture and science grow.
There couldn’t be better proof of the link between boycotting and terrorism.

It’s note worth that just in these days of intensive terrorism the Italian academics are especially (and it’s very bizarre!)enraged with the University of Haifa, a city heavily targeted by Hezbollah missiles, where they study the advanced technology applied to the production of drones capable of taking photographs from the sky.

They consider the University scientific activity just a form of persecution to the Lebanese, the Hezbollah, the Palestinians, a form of “occupation” of “apartheid”… and this irrational position is followed by the choice of boycotting Israel academic institutions.

The Italian 168 “researchers” and professors apparently think that when you are attacked and you are in danger of life you must not even research in the field of defence, and the Technion is condemned simply because it tries to help Israel survive.

They criminalize the right of Israel to defend itself: an evident badly hidden wish of seeing Israel destruction. Luckily, yesterday the Dean of the Turin Polytechnic Institute, Marco Gilli, refused the petition stating that it involves “a rather small number of researchers … science must not have ideological or political borders”.

Well, maybe it can be added that among the people of Academy sense of justice, common good sense, refusal of terrorism should!

This article originally appeared in slightly different form in Italian in Il Giornale (February 4, 2016)