The Israeli Supreme Court Cripples Efforts to Deter Terrorism

On May 12, an IDF unit entered a Palestinian village to arrest four terrorists; as they were leaving, locals began dropping bricks and cinder blocks on them from rooftops. One of them, Nizmi Abu Bakr, took careful aim and hit a young soldier, Ami Ben-Yigal, squarely on the head, killing him.

Abu Bakr has since then been apprehended and faces jailtime. But the Israeli high court, responding to a petition from a self-styled human-rights group, has barred the IDF from demolishing his home. Contrary to what the court’s ruling claims, such demolitions—which the IDF has employed as a counterterror measure for many years—are not primitive acts of revenge, as Ruthie Blum writes:

Encouraging violence against Israelis in schoolbooks and the media, the Palestinian Authority (PA) completes the circle by paying hefty stipends to terrorists and their families. Abu Bakr’s wife and children have undoubtedly begun to collect their salary for his slaying of Ben-Yigal. In addition, if they are patient, they have good cause to hope that one day in the not-so-distant future Abu Bakr will be released from jail in a “prisoner-swap” deal.

This presents a deterrence problem that Israel only has been able to reduce—certainly not to solve—through home demolitions. Just as the PA invites and incites terrorism by rewarding the families of terrorists, Israel curbs it somewhat by holding those families accountable in a manner that causes would-be perpetrators to think twice before embarking on missions that might have a negative effect on their parents, spouses, and/or children. Abu Bakr is no exception.

That left-wing activists consider this extremely mild form of deterrence—culled from assessments of the culture in which the Palestinians are submerged—a cruel form of “collective punishment” is par for the course. But the Supreme Court is not supposed to base its rulings on the political biases of its judges. Sadly, however, many of these consider it not only their job to overturn government moves that they oppose, but their moral imperative to do so.

Read more at JNS

More about: Israeli Security, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror, Supreme Court of Israel

An Israeli Buffer Zone in the Gaza Strip Doesn’t Violate International Law

 The IDF announced on Thursday that it is safe for residents to return to some of the towns and villages near the Gaza Strip that have been abandoned since October 7. Yet on the same day, rocket sirens sounded in one of those communities, Kibbutz Mefalsim. To help ensure security in the area, Israel is considering the creation of a buffer zone within the Strip that would be closed to Palestinian civilians and buildings. The U.S. has indicated, however, that it would not look favorably on such a step.

Avraham Shalev explains why it’s necessary:

The creation of a security buffer along the Gaza-Israel border serves the purpose of destroying Hamas’s infrastructure and eliminating the threat to Israel. . . . Some Palestinian structures are practically on the border, and only several hundred yards away from Israeli communities such as Kfar Aza, Kerem Shalom, and Sderot. The Palestinian terrorists that carried out the murderous October 7 attacks crossed into Israel from many of these border-adjacent areas. Hamas officials have already vowed that “we will do this again and again. The al-Aqsa Flood [the October 7th massacre] is just the first time, and there will be a second, a third, a fourth.”

In 2018 and 2019, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad organized mass marches towards the Israeli border with the goal of breaking into Israel. Billed by Palestinians as “the Great March of Return,” its name reveals its purpose—invasion. Although the marches were supposedly non-violent, they featured largescale attacks on Israeli forces as well as arson and damage to Israeli agriculture and civilian communities. Moreover, the October 7 massacre was made possible by Hamas’s prepositioning military hardware along the border under false cover of civilian activity. The security perimeter is intended to prevent a reprise of these events.

Shalev goes on to dismantle the arguments put forth about why international law prohibits Israel from creating the buffer zone. He notes:

By way of comparison, following the defeat of Nazi Germany, France occupied the Saar [River Valley] directly until 1947 and then indirectly until reintegration with Germany in 1957, and the Allied occupation of Berlin continued until the reunification of Germany in 1990. The Allies maintained their occupation long after the fall of the Nazi regime, due to the threat of Soviet invasion and conquest of West Berlin, and by extension Western Europe.

Read more at Kohelet

More about: Gaza Strip, Gaza War 2023, International Law, Israeli Security