Why Didn’t Palestinians or Israeli Arabs Rally in Support of Fugitive Terrorists?

Sept. 14 2021

On Friday, Israeli police apprehended four of the six Palestinian prisoners who had escaped from prison a few days earlier. They reportedly sought shelter and food in Arab villages, but the locals were unwilling to help them, and in fact assisted in their capture. Although the past few days have seen rocket fire from Gaza, and stabbing and shooting attacks from the West Bank, there has been no outbreak of mass demonstrations—contrary to the grim expectations of Israeli security officials, who feared a repeat of the rioting in Arab communities last summer. Aaron Lerner writes:

When [the] terrorists escaped from an Israeli prison Islamic Jihad called for Israeli and Palestinians Arabs to take to the streets to interfere with efforts to recapture them. The grand total of Palestinians across all of Judea and Samaria who answered the call of Islamic Jihad numbered well less than a thousand, with the largest incident accounting for half the total. Only around ten Arabs were seen chanting their support at al-Aqsa mosque after Friday prayers.

As for Israeli Arabs, when four of the terrorists were recaptured thanks to Israeli Arabs who tipped off the police, we learned that the terrorists couldn’t find any Israeli Arab who was willing to help drive them across the Green Line [into Palestinian-controlled territory].

Why did the security experts get it so wrong? I suspect that they took the terrifying riots earlier this year as their model. But, apparently, there is a key difference between the two situations. The rioting took place because the people on the streets bought the line that “al-Aqsa is in danger.” The escape of six terrorists had nothing to do with al-Aqsa.

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Read more at IMRA

More about: Israeli Arabs, Israeli Security, Palestinian terror

Why the Leader of Hamas Went to Russia

Sept. 30 2022

Earlier this month, the Hamas chairman Ismail Haniyeh and several of his colleagues visited Moscow, where they met with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and other Russian officials. According to Arabic-language media, Haniyeh came seeking “new ideas” about how to wage war against the Jewish state. The terrorist group has had good relations with the Kremlin for several years, and even maintains an office in Moscow. John Hardie and Ivana Stradner comment on the timing of the visit:

For Moscow, the visit likely reflects a continuation of its efforts to leverage the Palestinians and other issues to pressure Israel over its stance on Russia’s war in Ukraine. Russia and Israel built friendly relations in the decades following the Soviet Union’s dissolution. After Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Jerusalem condemned the war, but made sure to tread carefully in order to preserve working ties with Moscow, lest Russian military forces in Syria disrupt Israel’s strategically important air operations there.

Nevertheless, bilateral tensions spiked in April after Yair Lapid, then serving as Israel’s foreign minister, joined the chorus of voices worldwide accusing Russia of committing war crimes in Ukraine. Jerusalem later provided Kyiv with some non-lethal military aid and a field hospital. In response, Moscow hardened its rhetoric about Israeli actions in the Palestinian territories.

The Palestinian issue isn’t the only way that Russia has sought to pressure Israel. Moscow is also threatening, on seemingly spurious grounds, to shutter the Russian branch of the Jewish Agency.

Moscow likely has little appetite for outright conflict with Israel, particularly when the bulk of Russia’s military is floundering in Ukraine. But there are plenty of other ways that Russia, which maintains an active intelligence presence in the Jewish state, could damage Israel’s interests. As Moscow cozies up with Hamas, Iran, and other enemies of Israel, Jerusalem—and its American allies—would do well to keep a watchful eye.

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Read more at Algemeiner

More about: Hamas, Israeli Security, Russia