Nissan Ratzlav-Katz
Nissan Ratzlav-Katz

Why Does the IDF Have ‘No Intention’ of Killing Jihad Terrorists?

This blog entry is going to be pretty short.

The headline said: “IDF says it didn’t mean to kill senior Islamic Jihad members in tunnel blast”.

The body of the report quoted an IDF spokesperson as saying, “There was no intention in any way or at any stage to hurt senior figures.”

My only comment is: What?! Why not?!?

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad has murdered plenty of “senior figures”, such as:

Marcel Cohen, 73, of Nice, France, murdered along with 10 other not-so-senior figures by an Islamic Jihad suicide bomber at a shawarma restaurant near the old central bus station in Tel Aviv. Other victims were: Philip Balhasan, 45, of Ashdod; Rozalia Beseneyi, 48, and Pirosca Boda 50, of Romania; Ariel Darhi, 31, of Bat Yam; Victor Erez, 60, of Givatayim; Binyamin Haputa, 47, of Lod; David Shaulov, 29, of Holon; Lily Yunes, 42, of Oranit; Lior Anidzar, 26, of Tel Aviv; and Daniel Wultz, 16, of Weston, Florida (USA).

The “senior figures” Michael Kaufman, 68, Genia Poleis, 66, and Ya’acov Rahmani, 68, were murdered by an Islamic Jihad suicide bomber who detonated himself at the Hadera open-air market. Also murdered were Pirhiya Machlouf, 53, of Hadera, Sabiha Nissim, 66, of Moshav Ahituv, and Jamil Qa’adan, 48, of Baka al-Gharbiya.

“Senior” Alexandra Garmitzky, 65, was murdered in an Islamic Jihad suicide bombing at the entrance to the Sharon shopping mall in Netanya. The non-senior victims were: Haim Amram, 26, of Netanya, a security guard at the mall; Daniel Golani, 45, of Nahariya; Elia Rosen, 38, of Bat Hefer; and Keinan Tsuami, 20, of Petah Tikva.

A “senior figure” named Meir Haim, 74, of Azor, and 22 other people were murdered near the old Central Bus Station in Tel Aviv in a double suicide bombing by the Islamic Jihad. The other Israeli victims were: Moshe (Maurice) Aharfi, 60, of Tel-Aviv; Mordechai Evioni, 52, of Holon; Andrei Friedman, 30, of Tel-Aviv; Hannah Haimov, 53, of Tel Aviv; Avi Kotzer, 43, of Bat Yam; Ramin Nasibov, 25, of Tel-Aviv; Staff Sgt. Mazal Orkobi, 20, of Azor; Ilanit Peled, 32, of Azor; Viktor Shebayev, 62, of Holon; Boris Tepalshvili, 51, of Yehud; Sapira Shoshana Yulzari-Yaffe, 46, of Bat Yam; Lilya Zibstein, 33, of Haifa; Amiram Zmora, 55, of Holon; Igor Zobokov, 32, of Bat Yam. The foreign workers murdered in the attack were: Krassimir Mitkov Angelov, 32, of Bulgaria; Steven Arthur Cromwell, 43, of Ghana; Ivan Gaptoniak, 46, of Ukraine; Ion (Nelu) Nicolae, 34, of Romania; Guo Aiping, 47, of China; Li Peizhong, 41, of China; Mihai Sabau, 38, of Romania; and Zhang Minmin, 50, of China.

Mazal Afari, 65, a “senior figure” from Moshav Kfar Yavetz, was murdered and three of her grandchildren were wounded when an Islamic Jihad terrorist carried out a suicide bombing — in her home.

The “senior figures” Ze’ev Almog, 71, and his wife Ruth, 70, were murdered in an Islamic Jihad suicide bombing carried out by a female terrorist from Jenin in the Maxim restaurant in Haifa. Ze’ev and Ruth died alongside their son Moshe, 43, and grandsons, Tomer, 9, and Assaf, 11. But they were not the only families destroyed in an instant in that horrific attack. Bruria Zer-Aviv, 59, her son Bezalel, 30, and Bezalel’s wife Keren, 29, were murdered alongside their children – Liran, 4, and Noya, 1. The couple Mark and Naomi Biano, 29 and 25 respectively, were also murdered that day. The rest of the 21 people Islamic Jihad murdered were: Zvi Bahat, 35, of Haifa; Hana Francis, 39, of Fassouta; Mutanus Karkabi, 31, of Haifa; Sharbal Matar, 23, of Fassouta; Osama Najar, 28, of Haifa; Nir Regev, 25, of Nahariya; Irena Sofrin, 38, of Kiryat Bialik; Lydia Zilberstein, 58, and George Matar, 57.

“Senior figure” Mogus Mahento, 75, along with Sgt. Michael Altfiro, 19, St.-Sgt. Shimon Edri, 20, SWO Meir Fahima, 40, Cpl. Aharon Revivo, 19, Alon Goldenberg, 28, and Bella Schneider, 53, were murdered in an Islamic Jihad suicide bombing of a passenger bus traveling from Tel Aviv to Nazareth at the Musmus junction near Afula.

The most “senior figure” I could find before I could no longer go on with this endless, heart-wrenching list is Maharatu Tagana, 85, of Upper Nazareth, who was murdered when an Islamic Jihad suicide bomber exploded aboard a passenger bus as it entered the Afula central bus station.

This is only an extremely fractional listing of the very many innocent victims of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which also includes such “non-senior figures” as: teenagers Avihai Levy, 17, Aviad Mansour, 16, Gastón Perpiñal, 15, Rachel Ben Abu, 16, Nofar Horowitz, 16, Adi Dahan, 17, Osnat Abramov, 16, Gavriel Hoter, 17, and Zvi Zieman, 18, Malka Roth, 15, Tehila Maoz, 18, Michal Raziel, 16, and Ra’aya Schijveschuurder, 14; and the Hatuel children Hila, 11, Hadar, 9, Roni, 7, and Merav, 2, seven-month-old Shaked Avraham, the Schijveschuurder siblings Avraham Yitzhak, 4, and Hemda, 2, Tamara Shimashvili, 8, Yocheved Shoshan, 10; and far too many others.

There are more names. A lot more. And this does not even take into account the hundreds of rockets the Islamic Jihad fired into Israeli cities and towns.

Sorry, this turned out to be kind of long in the end anyway. So, let me summarize. In my opinion, the statement by the IDF should have gone something like this:

‘We were destroying terrorist tunnels intended to be used to kill Israelis. There was no intention on our part to kill those senior Islamic Jihad figures at this time. But we are extremely pleased that we have. With any luck, we will have the opportunity to repeat this achievement soon – but on purpose this time. Thank you.’

About the Author
Nissan Ratzlav-Katz is an experienced marketing communications professional, as well as a published columnist and former senior opinion page editor. He can be reached at