In a new disturbing revelation, Israeli security sources believe that Palestinian terrorists are purposely targeting religious Jews, Ynet reported. The main reason given is to avoid harming non-Jewish tourists, who may actually be in the country to support the Palestinian cause.
The majority of attacks have occurred in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, with other attacks taking place in cities all across the country. Most Israelis who live in Judea and Samaria are religious and their appearance reflects this.
Palestinians believe that the presence of Israelis, especially religious Jews in disputed territories, is a primary threat to the Palestinian cause.
Dr. Ido Zelkovitz, who is a professor at the University of Haifa and a Member of Mitvim – The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies, explained that the latest surge in terrorism across Israel is an attempt by the Palestinians to portray the conflict to the media as being based on religion.
“If you look at the last four murders, you will see that they were all clearly identifiable as religious or Haredi,” he said. “This just shows how effective the propaganda has been on the young Arabs, especially now”.
Zelkovitz notes that recent Palestinian propaganda focused mainly on the Temple Mount, Jerusalem and the targeting of religious Jews in particular.
The recent wave of violence and terror has also seen an increase in attacks against Israeli security personnel, which was not the case in the Intifadas. Soldiers and police are not normally a preferred target for terror attacks, particularly when the terrorist is armed only with a knife. Terrorists are making a special effort to attack soldiers and policemen in recent weeks.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Palestinian leadership for inciting Palestinians to carry out attacks against Israel.
“We are in the midst of a wave of terror whose source is false and systematic incitement about the Temple Mount, an incitement that came from Hamas, the Palestinian Authority and the Islamic Movement in Israel,” he said on Sunday. “Over the weekend, I ordered the enlisting of 16 reserve companies of the Border Police, in order to restore security and order. It is preferable to raise a massive force in advance, to take care of possible developments, rather than enlisting it after the fact—and we will enlist as many troops as will be necessary.”
The prime minister also ordered the Attorney General, Yehudah Weinstein, to launch a criminal investigation against Knesset Member Haneen Zoabi (Joint Arab List) for incitement and has moved towards outlawing the Islamic Movement.
According to Netanyahu, “this is a false and reckless incitement, and a clear call to violence. I am not prepared to ignore such serious things.”