Report: Obama Gave $221 Million to Palestinians in Last Hours

Getty

Getty

Breitbart, by Joel B. Pollack, January 23, 2017:

The Associated Press reported Monday that former President Barack Obama released $221 million in U.S. funding for the Palestinian Authority on the morning of Friday, January 20 — just hours before he was to leave office.

The AP details:

A State Department official and several congressional aides say the outgoing administration formally notified Congress it would spend the money Friday morning, just before Donald Trump became president.

More than $227 million in foreign affairs funding was released at the time, including $4 million for climate change programs and $1.25 million for U.N. organizations.

At least two GOP lawmakers had placed holds on the Palestinian funds. Congressional holds are generally respected by the executive branch but are not legally binding.

This was not the first time Obama had granted funding to the Palestinian Authority despite Congress’s wishes. In 2012, for example, he unblocked nearly $200 million that had been frozen in response to Palestinians’ unilateral actions at the United Nations, using a legal waiver included in the Palestinian Accountability Act.

Republicans have increasingly called for blocking or canceling funding to the Palestinian Authority, not only because of unilateral diplomatic moves toward statehood, but also because of increasing evidence that funds are used to incite violence and provide financial rewards to terrorists.

The Palestinian Authority reportedly provides compensation to the families of terrorist prisoners incarcerated in Israeli prisons, as well as to those who have killed themselves in attacks on Israeli civilians. The total amount allocated by the Palestinian Authority budget for “the Care for the Families of the Martyrs” was reportedly about $175 million in 2016, and an additional $140 million was reportedly allocated for payments to prisoners and former prisoners.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was also among the first world leaders that President Obama called after taking office in January 2009.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. His new book, How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

10 Reasons Hamas Should Not Be in Any Government

Hamas leaders at a rally. (Photo: © Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images)

Hamas leaders at a rally. (Photo: © Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images)

Fatah and Hamas have formed a national-unity government following talks in Moscow. Here’s why that’s a bad idea.

Clarion Project, by  Elliot Friedland, January 19, 2017:

Fatah and Hamas, which control the West Bank and the Gaza Strip respectively, concluded an agreement to form a national unity government. The Palestinian Authority, which is the official body that rules the Palestinian-controlled areas, as per the Oslo Accords, will now begin the process of forming a new national council. The P.A. president is Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas.

Hamas and Fatah also announced they will hold elections that will include members of the Palestinian diaspora. Elections were last held in 2007.

“We have reached agreement under which, within 48 hours, we will call on [Palestinian Authority President] Mahmoud Abbas to launch consultations on the creation of a government,” Fatah spokesman Azzam al-Ahmad told media.

Here are ten reasons why Hamas is not fit to be part of any government.
Hamas Is A Designated Terrorist Organization

Hamas is a terrorist group and is designated as such by Israel (obviously) but also the United States, the EU, Canada and Japan so this one should come as no surprise.

Hamas Deliberately Targets Civilians

Most recently Hamas praised the string of violent attacks that hit Israel over the past year and half.

In the last Gaza war, Hamas fired thousands of rockets indiscriminately at Israeli civilian areas. “Deliberate targeting of civilians by Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups defies humanity and is morally and legally reprehensible” Israeli left-wing human rights organization B’Tselem said about the last Gaza war.

They Use Civilians As Human Shields

According to the Geneva Conventions, “The presence or movements of the civilian population or individual civilians shall not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations, in particular in attempts to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield, favour or impede military operations. The parties to the conflict shall not direct the movement of the civilian population or individual civilians in order to attempt to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield military operations.”

Hamas does precisely this. In the last Gaza war, in 2014, Hamas ordered civilians to remain in their homes if they were about to be bombed. All the more gallingly, Hamas deliberately manipulates the inevitable civilian casualties that result, using the blood of Palestinians to purchase international sympathy.

Hamas Steals Palestinian Aid For Military Purposes

Hamas receives a lot of aid from around the world for the Gaza strip, which is frequently the subject of international aid campaigns. Yet Hamas steals much of this aid for its own purposes. “From our own investigations we found that out of every 100 sacks of cement that come into the Gaza strip [from Israel], only five or six are transferred to civilians,” said Israeli Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold. “A hundred sacks is what is necessary to rebuild a home, the rest are confiscated by Hamas and used for military purposes.”

Hamas uses the cement to construct multi-million dollar tunnels via which it hopes to carry out cross-border raids into Israel to murder Israeli civilians and attack Israeli soldiers.

In August 2016, Israel leveled charges against Mohammed el Halabi the head of World Vision in Gaza for allegedly funneling tens of millions of dollars earmarked for humanitarian purposes to Hamas for its terrorist activities.

Hamas Steals Money From Palestinians to Enrich Their Leaders

Hamas controls the lucrative smuggling tunnels that bring goods into Gaza from Egypt. They tax incoming products for revenue. “Most of the money that went into the pockets of people in the Gaza Strip was obtained through tunnel deals and the creation of a flourishing smuggling market, which it is believed has created several hundred millionaires in the Gaza Strip, although most of the people there don’t live like that,” Col. (res.) Moshe Elad, a lecturer at the Western Galilee Academic College who served in a variety of senior military positions told Globes. “The man pulling the strings from Egypt with the tunnels is none other than the number two man in the Muslim Brotherhood, Khairat el-Shater. His connection with Hamas was ostensibly for Islamic religious purposes, but they actually built a prosperous business, which earned phenomenal profits.”

Hamas also receives donations, both from wealthy Muslims in America and internationally, but also from state sponsors such as Saudi Arabia, Iran and Qatar.

This money has been appropriated by the Hamas leadership who enriched themselves at the expense of Palestinians. The inner circle of Hamas are millionaires.

Hamas Executes Dissenters and Stifles Critique

Hamas routinely carries out extrajudicial killings, abductions and torture of dissidents within the territory it controls. This includes supporters of rival Palestinian factions such as Fatah (with whom Hamas will now be forming a unity government) as well as those accused of collaborating with Israel.

Hamas is not believed to conduct fair trials.

In 2014 during the last Gaza war, Hamas carried out a campaign of targeted killings and abductions detailed in the Amnesty International Report entitled “‘Strangling Necks’ Abductions, Torture And Summary Killings Of Palestinians By Hamas Forces During The 2014 Gaza/Israel Conflict.”

“In the chaos of the conflict, the de facto Hamas administration granted its security forces free rein to carry out horrific abuses including against people in its custody,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International, then Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International. These spine-chilling actions, some of which amount to war crimes, were designed to exact revenge and spread fear across the Gaza Strip.”

Nor did this stop after the war. “Palestinian governments in both Gaza and the West Bank are arresting and even physically abusing activists and journalists who express criticism on important public issues,” Human Rights Watch said as recently as August 2016.

Hamas Wants a Theocratic State and Murders LGBT People

Hamas is an affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is pledged to establish an Islamic State as a final goal. It terms itself “The Islamic Resistance Movement” and article one of its founding charter reads “The Movement’s programme is Islam.”

Although Hamas is continually on a war-footing and has therefore been less focused on establishing a sharia-based system of governance than other Islamist groups, it still takes the time to implement sharia governance where it can.

In this vein Hamas has imprisoned women for sex outside marriage.

Hamas Persecutes the LGBT Community

In January 2016, Hamas executed one of its senior commanders after allegations of gay sex emerged. John Calvin (not his real name) is from one of Hamas’ most important families and fought for and gained asylum in the United States because if he returned to Nablus he would be murdered.

These are rarely mentioned by those in the “Queers for Palestine” movement.

Israel Withdrew From Gaza And Hamas Turned it Into A Terrorist State

In 2005 Israel completely withdrew from the Gaza Strip. In 2007 Hamas took over and turned the enclave into their own personal fiefdom.

Governmental errors in the Israeli withdrawal notwithstanding , Hamas demonstrated its lack of commitment to its own people and to the path of peace by choosing rejectionism and violence instead.

Hamas Perpetrates Child Abuse

Hamas trains young children in its military training camps to indoctrinate them with the group’s Islamist and jihadist ideology and train them for hatred and warfare.

This is backed up by Hamas media outlets which produce children’s programs that inculcate the next generation with the Hamas ideology.

Funding Terrorism – The Buck Stops Here

funding-terrorism

by Patrick Dunleavy
IPT News
December 6, 2016

“Follow the money” – that fundamental rule for investigating organized crime – also holds true for uncovering terrorist organizations. But if the search leads to your own doorstep, immediate and decisive action must be taken.

This may be the case for the U.S. government in light of recent statements by Mahmoud Abbas, the current president of the Palestinian Authority. The 81-year-old Abbas, who has been president since 2005, is calling for unifying the Fatah party government with Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip. President Bill Clinton’s executive order first labeled Hamas as a foreign terrorist organization in 1995.

Hamas was included among terrorist groups whose “grave acts of violence … disrupt the Middle East peace process [and] constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.”

The State Department followed that up by labeling Hamas as a foreign terrorist organization in 1997. Those actions make it prohibited by law for any U.S. citizen to provide material support, including currency, to the organization. That means that if you or I gave a dollar to them or their pseudo charities, we can go to prison.

The U.S. provides approximately $400 million annually to the Palestinian Authority (PA). That support cannot continue legally if the PA unites with Hamas,  unless two critical conditions are met. First, Hamas would have to recognize “the Jewish state of Israel’s right to exist.” And second, just as crucial, Hamas must accept all previously negotiated Israeli-Palestinian agreements.

Under its current charter – which calls for Israel’s destruction – this will never happen. Hamas is an Islamic organization, formed in 1987 as an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood by a group of men including radical Islamic cleric Sheik Ahmed Yassin.  Its very name is an acronym, Ḥarakat al-Muqāwamah al-ʾIslāmiyyah, for the Islamic Resistance Movement. Hamas wants a fundamentalist Islamic state on the very land allotted to the nation of Israel by the United Nations in 1948.

Since its formation, Hamas has been responsible for suicide bombings, rocket attacks, and other heinous acts resulting in the deaths of innocent men, women, and children. It has also stolen (or re-directed) funds and support provided by the United Nations relief organizations and other charities intended to help the people of Gaza rebuild. Hamas has used the materials to build tunnels, buy weapons and construct military installations used to attack Israel.

Do we really think that they would not be able to siphon off money from the funds the U.S. provides to the Palestinian Authority if an alliance government is formed? That would be foolish naiveté and dangerous diplomacy.

In combating terrorist organizations like al-Qaida, ISIS, and Al Shabaab, counter terrorism experts strive to cut off funding to these groups. That’s because if you cut off the finances, the organizations will not be able to reconstitute or recruit. Giving them a handout or opening another spigot from which they could water the fertile soil of jihad is counter to the goal of eliminating the threat posed to Western democracies by radical Islam.

Having just gone through eight years of an administration that refused to use the term “radical Islamism” when discussing terrorism, the U.S. must say “NO” to the Palestinian Authority/Hamas alliance. Otherwise we will find ourselves, the U.S. taxpayers, providing material support to a radical Islamic terrorist organization. Enough with the handouts. The buck stops here.

IPT Senior Fellow Patrick Dunleavy is the former Deputy Inspector General for New York State Department of Corrections and author of The Fertile Soil of Jihad. He currently teaches a class on terrorism for the United States Military Special Operations School.

66% of Palestinians in Hamas-Controlled Gaza Believe Terrorism Serves the Palestinian Cause

children_1543287iThese numbers are symptoms of a larger issue at work in Palestinian culture: jihadist ideology promoted through corrupt leadership.

Counter Jihad, by Bruce Cornibe · | April 26, 2016

Amid months of heightened tension between Arabs and Israelis, Palestinian attitudes continue to show a propensity towards violence against Israelis. A recent poll by the JMCC (Jerusalem Media and Communications Center), sampling 1,000 random Palestinians ages 15-29, reveals that young Palestinians feel terrorism serves the Palestinian cause. The poll found a shocking 66% of youth in the Gaza Strip and 40% in the West Bank believe the recent terror attacks against Israelis furthers the Palestinian cause, while only 17% (Gaza Strip) and 23% (West Bank) say the attacks hinder the cause. This is an alarming statistic to say the least. Here are some other disturbing figures,

“More than 35% of respondents in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip predicted that the violence would develop into a fully-fledged uprising, the results showed.”

“Palestinian youth seem to be equally split over “military operations” against Israel: 43% in favor and against. Support among Palestinian youth for the two-state solution stands at 42%, according to the poll. Nearly 20% said they preferred a bi-national state.”

“An overwhelming majority of 67% of respondents believe that negotiations will not succeed in resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. In addition, the survey found, a majority of 63% of Palestinian youths oppose working with like-minded Israeli youths to find a solution to the conflict, while 27% supported the idea.”

These numbers are symptoms of a larger issue at work in Palestinian culture; jihadist ideology promoted through corrupt leadership. From Yasser Arafat to Mahmoud Abbas and Ismail Haniyeh, Palestinian leaders continue to push propaganda and incite violence against Israelis, leaving their citizens misinformed and misguided. One example is the Hamas controlled Al-Aqsa TV which runs programs such as “Pioneers of Tomorrow,” that encourages the audience to “throw stones” at Jews, and in one episode the host applauds a young child for her wish to be a police office and “shoot Jews.” Palestinian social media is another outlet where this this kind of violence is transmitted (poll shows about 60% of youth depend on “Facebook and Twitter as a first source of news”). Late last year Israel’s UN ambassador, Danny Danon, talked about the prevalence of “How to Stab a Jew” tutorials on the internet, while Twitter users utilized the Arabic hashtag, “Slaughtering the Jews,” encouraging further stabbings.

How US Taxpayers Funded the Murder of an Iraq Vet in Israel

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Frontpage, by Daniel  Greenfield, March 11, 2016:

Taylor Force had been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, he had served at Fort Hood in the year of the infamous Islamic terrorist attack on the base, but a Jihadist finally caught up to the veteran, whose father and grandfather had also served their country, in civilian life during a visit to Israel.

Bashar Masalha, the Islamic terrorist who murdered Force, was shot dead by Israeli police around the time that Biden was hanging out a mile away at the Peres Center for Peace. But Biden and his boss signed the checks to Iran and the Palestinian Authority that motivated and rewarded Force’s killer.

Masalha came from Qalqilya which is under the civil control of the Palestinian Authority. Its mayor, Othman Dawood, is a member of Fatah, the core political organization behind the PLO and the Palestinian Authority. Fatah celebrated the murder of Taylor Force and other victims of the attack, praising Masalha as a “heroic martyr”. It named him and two other terrorist attackers as “the pride of all of the young Palestinians” and urged future terrorists to go on killing in their name.

Palestinian Authority television called the terrorist who murdered an American, a Shaheed, a martyr for Islam. And the Palestinian Authority’s support for the murder of Taylor Force doesn’t just end there.

The Palestinian Authority pays terrorists based on the amount of harm they caused and the resulting jail sentence. Had  Masalha survived his attack on Taylor Force and the other victims, he would have likely been paid $2,000 a month for his act of terror. That’s pretty good money in a place where $2,000 is more like an annual income. It’s so good that that there’s no shortage of terrorists eager to kill for cash.

And the Palestinian Authority has no shortage of money to pay Muslim terrorists to kill Americans and Israelis because the terror organization which claims to be a state is subsidized by the United States with billions of dollars. In 2014, the PA spent $144 million on payments to convicted terrorists. Its terror budget benefited from Obama boosting 2014 foreign aid to the PA to $440 million. For “peace”.

Masalha is dead and will not receive the blood money he was hoping for from the Palestinian Authority, but he died knowing that his family will still be paid for his crime. In just one year, the PA paid out $78 million to the families of terrorists. Masalha’s family will receive money each month for the murder of Taylor Force. That money will come from American taxpayers. It will come from you.

Americans are paying money to Islamic terrorists who kill them. They are paying money to their families so that the terrorists know that even if they die, their families will be taken care of by their victims.

After a vague condemnation, Biden headed to a meeting with the head of the Palestinian Authority, PLO and Fatah, Mahmoud Abbas. Biden will meet with the killer whose organization encouraged and financed the murder of Taylor Force. While the body of Abbas’ latest American victim is flown back to his family, Biden will grin at the Osama of the West Bank and trade jokes with him. He will shake the bloody hand of the head of a terrorist organization that is among the world’s top terrorist killers of Americans. And he will promise him more cash that will be used to help kill more Americans.

After the murder of Taylor Force, Biden could have skipped the meeting. When an Israeli planning committee approved a housing plan the last time he was in the country, Biden kept Netanyahu waiting for 90 minutes to express his displease. Will he keep the PLO terror boss waiting for even a second?

Why do Jewish houses in Jerusalem offend Biden more than the murder of an American veteran?

But sadly the taxpayer financing of Islamic terrorism in Israel doesn’t end with the Palestinian Authority.

Obama signed off on Iran’s nuclear program. As part of that deal, Iran got $100 billion in sanctions relief. And he generously threw in a check from the American people to the Shiite terror state for $1.7 billion.

After 9/11, Biden told staffers, “Seems to me this would be a good time to send, no strings attached, a check for $200 million to Iran.” Obama added plenty of interest to that check and Iran quickly began putting that money to good use in its weapons programs and its terror financing.

As part of its celebration, Iran announced that it would pay $7,000 to the families of terrorists in Israel.

On top of the American taxpayer money that the family of Taylor Force’s killer will receive from the Palestinian Authority, they will also receive blood money from Iran.

Funding terrorism is popular in the Muslim world. The Saudis were funneling $5,300 to the families of dead terrorists in Israel. And they are not alone. These days some of that money has been diverted to Islamic holy wars in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and any number of other places where Allahu Akbar is shouted as heads roll and bombs go off, but the checks are still being cut to Muslim terrorists in Israel.

And too much of the money being used to murder Americans is coming out of the pockets of Americans.

Taylor Force is not alone. He is the second American to be murdered by Muslim terrorists in Israel this year. Americans murdered by Islamic terrorists in Israel last year included Richard Lakin, a 76-year-old former elementary school principal from Connecticut, Rabbi Eitan Henkin, a father of four who was driving his family home, and  Ezra Schwartz, a Massachusetts teenager on a mission of mercy.

Many other Americans have been stabbed, shot at, wounded, stoned and terrorized. And the money funding their attackers came out of their own pockets.

Members of Congress from both parties have tried to cut off aid to the terrorists of the Palestinian Authority. But Obama, like the presidents before him, has refused to listen or to follow the law and continues to fund terrorist attacks in Israel in much the same way that Saddam Hussein used to.

Unfortunately he is not alone. The United States has funded Fatah and PLO terrorism under three presidents. This is an ongoing crime that must stop. It kills Israelis and it kills Americans.

As long as the United States funds the Palestinian Authority, it’s funding Islamic terrorism.

The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade appears on the State Department’s own list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations. The Brigade is an arm of Fatah, whose terrorist boss, Mahmoud Abbas, was one of the first foreign leaders Obama phoned on his first day in office.

Abbas was a frequent guest at the White House. Despite skipping Israel’s parliament, Obama paid a visit to the terrorist leader’s Muqata fortress, ignoring Abbas’ own statement, “As far as I am concerned, there is no difference between our policies and those of Hamas. So why are they labeled as terrorists?”

That’s a very good question. Maybe Abbas can ask it of Biden as the Vice President of the United States pays a call on the PLO and Fatah terror boss in the old British prison that serves as his fortress despite the murder of Taylor Force and other Americans funded by Abbas’ terrorist organization.

Obama has poured billions into the Palestinian Authority. These vast sums of money have not led to peace. They have not convinced Abbas to negotiate in good faith with Israel. Instead those billions have helped finance Islamic terrorism. It’s time for the United States to stop funding terrorists.

It’s clear that this administration will not do the right thing. But if its successor does not stop paying terrorists to kill, then Taylor Force will not be the last American victim of taxpayer subsidized terrorism.

And their blood will be on his or her hands.

How Would You React to a Terror Attack?

by Paul Alster
Special to IPT News
March 7, 2016

1373Have you ever wondered how it feels to suddenly find yourself in the midst of a terror attack, and how you would react? It’s everyone’s worst nightmare, but for a growing number of people in Israel over the 5 ½ months since the latest Palestinian uprising began, it has been a shocking reality.

Since September 13th, 32 Israelis and one Palestinian have been murdered, most by Palestinian attackers. Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs counts “195 stabbings and attempted stabbing attacks, 79 shootings, and 40 vehicular attacks” involving the ramming of pedestrians. The attacks continue and the figures are updated almost daily.

More than 170 Palestinians reportedly have been killed by Israeli security forces or armed Israeli civilians during the same period, most during or in the aftermath of a terror attack; the remainder in clashes at violent demonstrations.

Apologists for the terrorists cite a perceived lack of hope and opportunities for Palestinian youth, but a 17-year-old attacker killed by Israeli security forces on Friday held a U.S. passport. This attempted attack provided yet another apparent example of the deep-seated, institutional indoctrination of young Palestinians considered to be a major part in their decision to attack Israelis. Urged on by Palestinian state media that routinely glorifies attackers, and lauded by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who recently told the families of 11 terrorists “Your sons are martyrs,” the violence shows no sign of ending.

In October, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat told citizens with licensed firearms to carry them at all times as a response to the random killings. Last week, following the stabbing to death of unarmed 21-year-old off-duty soldier Sgt. Tuvia Weissman in a West Bank supermarket, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief, Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot reversed a previous directive and instructed all off-duty soldiers and those traveling home on leave to carry their weapons with them.

But even if a soldier has his weapon, how well equipped is he to react to a sudden attack in the midst of chaotic scenes?

Last week, I was invited to an IDF base in the south of the country to see new cutting edge technology, including tank and armored personnel carrier simulators. In view of current events though, it was the hi-tech simulators recreating potential terror scenarios that were of particular interest.

“Some come to us for three or four-day courses, others come for longer periods,” the lieutenant in charge of training said. “The courses are tremendously helpful to new soldiers and those who have trained before and need to keep their shooting skills up-to date. We use a wide variety of weapons including the M4 and Micro Tavor rifles. People develop their skills for many different units within the army. This new technology brings you as close to real situations as it is possible to get.”

A simulated shooting range recreates both urban warfare and battlefield conditions. Even crosswinds are added to train as realistically as possible. Computer graphics show where each bullet went. Alongside the instructor’s guidance, it highlights when a soldier is aiming too high or too low, if his stance is wrong, or even using his elbows incorrectly when in a prone position, for example. After the range, the soldiers move on to the terror attack simulator. I was invited to try it out alongside the lieutenant. I was somewhat skeptical that it would come close to recreating the feeling of a real, unprovoked attack.

IDF training

Facing a cinema-style screen, I am a soldier waiting at a bus stop where something may or may not happen. The images are filmed on location and are uncannily realistic. A man walks towards me on screen and asks if I have a cigarette. I felt like answering him. People are waiting close by for the bus. A car approaches at speed, but it’s just dropping someone off. I’m prepared for the worst but he goes peacefully on his way. Then another car pulls up and, without warning, a man wielding a large knife suddenly charges in our direction after stabbing a passer-by. Even though I know this is not real, I feel a surge of panic, take aim and fire a series of shots. Unarmed civilians are close by.

The attacker soon falls to the ground. If he hadn’t been hit, I am told, he would have stabbed again. My heart is pounding. For me, unexpectedly, the simulator vividly brought back to mind a real attack I endured 17 years earlier. It went quite a long way toward recreating the utter shock and split-second decision-making that can be the difference between life and death when confronted with someone intent on ending your life.

The simulator’s computer system recorded all that happened. 12 shots were fired; 11 missed. There were no non-lethal hits, but there was one lethal hit, and that was the one that killed the terrorist in this instance. Clearly, I’m no sharp shooter. Trained soldiers would react faster and with more accuracy, particularly after undergoing training.

The instructors note that no figures are available showing how much this new, enhanced training has helped soldiers during real attacks, but anecdotal evidence suggests it is making a difference. However, the wholly unpredictable nature of people’s reactions to a sudden attack was tragically demonstrated in an almost copycat real-life tragedy that uncannily occurred just 48 hours later.

The Jerusalem Post, February 24, reported as follows:

“Capt. (res.) Eliav Gelman, 30, was killed by ‘friendly fire’ in the midst of a stabbing attack at the Gush Etzion junction in the West Bank on Wednesday afternoon. Soldiers from an IDF unit securing the junction saw a Palestinian armed with a knife charging at Gelman, an IDF spokeswoman said. They fired at the assailant, striking both him and Gelman… Gelman died from a gunshot wound to the chest. The terrorist [26-year-old Mamdouh Tousef Amru, a Palestinian from the Hebron area] is in moderate condition.”

Through the use of the latest technology, efforts are being made to minimize “friendly fire” incidents, but as unpredictable terror attacks continue to occur anytime, anywhere, there can never be a cast-iron guarantee that innocent bystanders will not be caught in the crossfire.

Paul Alster is an Israel-based journalist. Follow him on Twitter @paul_alster and visit his website: www.paulalster.com.

Netanyahu’s Mufti Firestorm