Yes, it is true: An Israeli soldier shot and killed what appears to have been a neutralized Palestinian terrorist, Abd al-Fattah Yusri al-Sharif, who minutes before had stabbed an Israeli soldier. The soldier claims that he fired because the terrorist was moving, and that given the fact that he was wearing a jacket on a hot day, the soldier feared that the terrorist may try to detonate a suicide bomb vest. The prosecution within the IDF legal division is arguing that the soldier was in no danger, and shot the terrorist to avenge his having tried to kill a fellow soldier.
Israel is a civilized democracy, with institutions established to make sure rules are kept. As such, the soldier was arrested. The military court will make its ruling following a thorough investigation and judicial proceeding, and the soldier will either go free or will go to military jail. This is how things work in the only democracy in the Middle East.
Given these facts, the reaction from the Palestinian Authority leadership and some Israeli Arab leaders is nothing less than absurd. Saeb Erekat, a senior Palestinian Authority official and head of peace negotiations with Israel (when they occur), submitted an official request to the United Nations asking that it investigate “Israeli extrajudicial executions” of Palestinian attackers. What??? The Palestinian Authority wants to go after Israel for shooting Palestinian attackers? How about the PA taking some step towards stopping these terrorist attacks from happening in the first place!
Even more absurd were the comments made by Ahmad Tibi and Osama Saadi, members of the Israeli Knesset representing Israel Arabs in the parliament: “This is a soldier who committed a criminal act of murder…such incidents must be investigated by an international war crimes tribunal.” Excuse me? The soldier who shot at a terrorist should be investigated for international war crimes? Have these Arab leaders ever issued such a statement about Palestinian terrorists and those who help them attack innocent citizens in Israel?
But MK Tibi went even further. He accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of “personal responsibility for the murder” claiming that “IDF soldiers and Israeli police shoot and execute Palestinians in cold blood, as a result of the incitement of Israeli ministers and politicians. Those politicians are no less responsible for the shooting today than the soldier who fired the bullets.”
Did Tibi really condemn Israel for inciting towards murder? Even if this soldier is found guilty of killing a terrorist – something which is not at all a given – there have been close to 200 terrorist attacks in Israel over the past half year. Are there any other examples of a soldier shooting a terrorist well after the attack? No!
But there have been 34 innocent people executed “in cold blood” by Palestinians this past year, and these Palestinians have carried out these attacks as a direct result of Palestinian Authority incitement. Did Tibi accuse PA President Mahmoud Abbas of “personal responsibility” for the murder of Jews?
I don’t think so.
Where was MK Tibi’s condemnation when the official Fatah spokesman in Jerusalem, Raafat Alayan, declared on official PA television on November 1, 2015, that Jews are “the sons of apes and pigs?” Did Tibi condemn the official Palestinian Authority daily Al-Hayar Al Jadida for publishing this outright blood libel and incitement to more murder on November 5, 2015, right in the midst of the current wave of Palestinian terror: “Apparently the Israeli occupation will continue to act against everything Palestinian and will always show great fervor, like a vampire in its violence and hatred, to wipe out the Palestinian people.”?
Tibi remained silent.
What about when Abbas’s Fatah movement expressed official support and approval for the murder of innocent Israelis, announcing on January 10, 2016, that they had “opened a mourning tent for the heroic Martyr Nashat Melhem,” who had murdered three Israelis in cold blood just a few days before? Did MK Saadi suggest that the Palestinian Authority “must be investigated by an international war crimes tribunal?”
He wouldn’t dare.
And where was Erekat when his own Palestinian Authority glorified Palestinian terrorists who set out to “execute” Jews in the streets of Israel? A soccer tournament held in November under the auspices of the Palestinian Authority was named the “Ahmad Manasrah Football Tournament,” in memory of a 13-year-old terrorist who repeatedly stabbed an Israeli boy. It’s not the only such tournament: the PA has named at least 25 schools after terrorists, as well as dozens of sporting events and summer camps. Did Erekat turn to the United Nations to request an inquiry into this grotesque practice of presenting terrorists to Palestinian children as role models?
Not a chance!
Moreover, Palestinian Authority documents reveal that 6 percent of its salaries – provided by international aid – go to terrorists and to their families. Palestinian Authority by-laws stipulate that imprisoned terrorists receive a starting salary of 1,400 shekels, and those payments are set to increase to no less than 10,000 per month. Erekat’s Palestinian Authority transfers 17 million shekel per month to terrorists convicted of first-degree murder or attempted murder; and special grants go to families of killers who die while committing the terrorism. And Erekat has the nerve to ask the United Nations to investigate Israel???
What we are witnessing is the theater of the absurd.
I am proud to live in a country which has a judicial process allowing the investigation of one soldier who may have acted improperly; a country in which hundreds of IDF soldiers have reacted with poise and responsibility when making split-second decisions in the face of a continuous wave of Palestinian terror attacks over this past year.
Erekat, Tibi, and Saadi should be ashamed of themselves for their open hypocrisy.
We in Israel will continue to hold our heads high.