The Recent Terrorist Attack in Be’er Sheva Didn’t Happen in a Vacuum

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.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Bedouin, ISIS, Israeli Arabs, Palestinian terror

Hamas Has Its Own Day-After Plan

While Hamas’s leaders continue to reject the U.S.-backed ceasefire proposal, they have hardly been neglecting diplomacy. Ehud Yaari explains:

Over the past few weeks, Hamas leaders have been engaged in talks with other Palestinian factions and select Arab states to find a formula for postwar governance in the Gaza Strip. Held mainly in Qatar and Egypt, the negotiations have not matured into a clear plan so far, but some forms of cooperation are emerging on the ground in parts of the embattled enclave.

Hamas officials have informed their interlocutors that they are willing to support the formation of either a “technocratic government” or one composed of factions that agree to Palestinian “reconciliation.” They have also insisted that security issues not be part of this government’s authority. In other words, Hamas is happy to let others shoulder civil responsibilities while it focuses on rebuilding its armed networks behind the scenes.

Among the possibilities Hamas is investigating is integration into the Palestinian Authority (PA), the very body that many experts in Israel and in the U.S. believe should take over Gaza after the war ends. The PA president Mahmoud Abbas has so far resisted any such proposals, but some of his comrades in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) are less certain:

On June 12, several ex-PLO and PA officials held an unprecedented meeting in Ramallah and signed an initiative calling for the inclusion of additional factions, meaning Hamas. The PA security services had blocked previous attempts to arrange such meetings in the West Bank. . . . Hamas has already convinced certain smaller PLO factions to get on board with its postwar model.

With generous help from Qatar, Hamas also started a campaign in March asking unaffiliated Palestinian activists from Arab countries and the diaspora to press for a collaborative Hamas role in postwar Gaza. Their main idea for promoting this plan is to convene a “Palestinian National Congress” with hundreds of delegates. Preparatory meetings have already been held in Britain, Lebanon, Kuwait, and Qatar, and more are planned for the United States, Spain, Belgium, Australia, and France.

If the U.S. and other Western countries are serious about wishing to see Hamas defeated, and all the more so if they have any hopes for peace, they will have to convey to all involved that any association with the terrorist group will trigger ostracization and sanctions. That Hamas doesn’t already appear toxic to these various interlocutors is itself a sign of a serious failure.

Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Palestinian Authority