Following the historic decision by United States President Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the Palestinians launched multiple terror attacks against Israel and called for more. An Israeli security guard was stabbed in the chest and an Israeli kindergarten was damaged by a Palestinian rocket over the weekend, and yet the response could have been—and still could be—much worse.
In response to the American announcement, the Hamas terrorist organization issued a statement on Saturday posted to their website calling for the continuation of a “holy intifada”—a term that means uprising and has referred to some of the worst Palestinian terror campaigns in Israeli history. If that message wasn’t clear enough, Hamas effectively called for violence against Israelis—including civilians—in urging Palestinians to “engage with the Israeli occupation soldiers and settlers everywhere.”
So far, that call has been met, albeit in limited fashion. Multiple rockets have been launched at Israel from Gaza since Thursday, with the Israeli Police Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld posting to Twitter photos of damage caused to a kindergarten in southern Israel when a rocket landed in the area. The IDF Spokesperson tweeted that the attack was “yet another attempt to harm innocent Israeli civilians.” No injuries were reported by either spokesman.
That was just one of multiple rockets fired from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip over the weekend. The IDF Spokesperson noted to Twitter that the Israeli Iron Dome missile defense system also intercepted a “projectile that was fired from the Gaza Strip at southern Israel. No injuries reported.”
Following the attacks, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed dismay at the lack of European condemnation to the rockets as he departed for a meeting with European foreign ministers.
“While I respect Europe, I am not prepared to accept a double standard from it,” said Netanyahu on Saturday in comments released by his office. “I hear voices from there condemning President Trump’s historic statement but I have not heard condemnations of the rockets fired at Israel or the terrible incitement against it.
“I am not prepared to accept this hypocrisy, and as usual at this important forum, I will present Israel’s truth without fear and with head held high.”
In response to the Gaza attacks on Friday, IDF Spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus tweeted that the Israeli Air Force “struck 2 Hamas targets: an ammo depot and a training facility.” He said the Israeli aircraft returned to base safely.
Commenting on the Israeli response, the IDF Spokesman tweeted that “The IDF holds Hamas solely responsible for all hostile acts against Israel emanating from the Gaza Strip.”
Jerusalem also was the scene of violence over the weekend. Rosenfeld posted a video to Twitter showing a Palestinian stabbing an Israeli security guard outside the Jerusalem Central Bus Station. Rosenfeld said the security guard was “injured seriously” and that the attacker was arrested.
Rosenfeld also tweeted on Saturday that four Israeli security guards were lightly injured by stone-throwing in Jerusalem and the IDF Spokesperson tweeted a photo that same day that highlighted the use of an ambulance as a shield by violent Palestinian protestors.
“During violent riots in Ramallah’s main square, Palestinians threw stones at security forces. The rioters shielded themselves with an ambulance, knowing that security forces wouldn’t employ dispersal tactics against it.”
So while the latest Palestinian uprising hasn’t yet approached the violent extremes that characterized the other ones, the overall Palestinian response to Trump’s endorsement of Israel’s capital and call for peace has certainly not been peaceful.
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, December 10, 2017)