On Tuesday, a Bedouin citizen of Israel drove his car into one person and stabbed several others in the Negev city of Be’er Sheva, leaving four dead. The perpetrator was unusual in that he hailed from neither eastern Jerusalem nor the West Bank, and his sympathies lay with Islamic State (IS) rather than Palestinian organizations. But, writes Nadav Shragai, this should not be treated as an isolated event:
[T]his was not the first time an IS sympathizer killed Jews in Israel. [Such] terrorists, however, also do not fit the usual profile of the “lone wolf.” Most of them are over thirty, married with children, and hold respectable jobs, making them more financially secure. Many of them have become radicalized after falling under IS’s spell on social media or in mosques.
However, we should not be fooled by the fact that Tuesday’s terrorist attack was carried out by an IS terrorist. . . . The success of one attack spurs extremists in other organizations to stage similar attacks, known as copycat or inspiration attacks, and this phenomenon is of great concern for the defense establishment.
Israel has experienced seven stabbing attacks over the past three weeks. . . . Waves of terrorism are not created in a vacuum and they have the potential to evolve into a full-blown intifada. This is the terrorist groups’ way of employing the “reap what you sow” method, by which what is sown in terror is reaped in negotiations; and the harder you hit the Israeli home front, the less resolve we can show in negotiations.
We cannot be fooled again. We must remember that no good can come of making goodwill gestures during waves of terrorism and that there is little if any room to show consideration for sectors that breed terrorists, be they from the West Bank or the Negev.