Four Israeli civilians driving on Route 60 were killed in a shooting terror attack close to Bnei Naim, east of Hebron. IDF forces arrived to the site and are currently searching the area in pursuit of the terrorists responsible.The site adds that last June Policeman Yehoshua Sofer was killed--also in a shooting ambush on Route 60, in the southern Hebron Hills.
Following the incident, Defense Minister Ehud Barak was briefed [by] Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi and head of the Israel Security Agency (ISA) Yuval Diskin. He then spoke with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is currently on his way to Washington D.C., and with Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom. Defense Minister Barak offered his condolences to the families of the victims.
According to Arutz Sheva, Channel 2 television is reporting that the victims were 2 couples, including a pregnant woman.Not only was the vehicle riddled with bullets, but the terrorists also made sure of their kills by afterwards shooting again from close range.
According to report on Channel 2 television, the victims are two couples, and one of them is a pregnant woman. The IDF is combing the area, searching for the terrorists.
There was a conference call for bloggers with Lt Col Avital Leibovich, who noted the severity of the terrorist attack. She mentioned that in the past two or three years, the security situation in the West Bank was stable overall, which is what made this such a vicious attack on civilians. Raising the security level depends upon operation assessments--usually based on the intel info that the IDF has. In the current event, it was not immediately clear if there were any alerts.
Lt. Col Leibovich also made the point that in order to kill all four people sitting in a vehicle requires an impressive amount of firepower.
Elder of Ziyon, who attended the blogger conference, asked
if any of the roadblocks/checkpoints that had been removed recently would have helped. She sidestepped the question, saying that the IDF took orders to remove the roadblocks from the government, and that over 180 roadblocks had been removed over the past couple of years, noting that she could drive from Jerusalem to Hebron without stopping at a single checkpoint. The situation had been stable up until now.But the question is intriguing, and should be answered. There may be roadblocks which, like terrorists with blood on their hands, should not be dealt with leniently.
Yisrael Medad responds to comments by the State Department's Phillip J. (P.J.) Crowley:
He spoke of "external players" and that they are "trying to influence the [peace] process".All the more reason for Obama to stop playing games when it comes to the incitement of hate by Abbas and the Palestinian Authority--not that anyone expects that he will. Rebukes are reserved for Netanyahu, who is roundly criticized over settlements. Murders of Israelis are greeted with the wringing of hands, at best.
Sir, PJ, they are not external players - they are the players. They are the most internal of players. If anything, you and Hillary and President Obama are the outsiders.
And the terror is the process. Terror has been the constant factor in the relationships between the Arab, who have never indicated a willingness to compromise and coexist and have always used terror from 1920 on.[emphasis added1]
And the peace talks have not even started yet.
UPDATE: Yaacov Lozowick notes that Ali Abunimah of The Electronic Intifada weighs in:
Ali Abunimah, founder of Electronic Intifada and go-to Palestinian when the New York Times needs an Palestinian-perspective op-ed, responds via Twitter to the cold-blooded execution-style murder of four Jews earlier this evening, two of them women and one pregnant:Apparently it is all about the rhetoric--and logic and decency are left behind in the dust.
Civilian deaths are always tragic. Israel must stop using civilian settlers as human shields for the land it is stealingPernicious, isn't it. Nauseating. Read it repeatedly, and think through what he's saying.
UPDATE II: Jennifer Rubin has a suggestion:
There has been a lot of talk about a moratorium on settlements by Israel. Abbas has threatened to walk out. When do they talk about a moratorium on killing Jews? Perhaps Bibi should leave D.C. and return to Israel for the funerals of the four victims (possibly five, if indeed the woman was carrying a child). That would, maybe, refocus things.Maybe it would at that. It would certainly stress what the priorities are. Come to think of it, has anyone heard from Abbas yet--has he come out and condemned, I mean really condemned, the murder of these civilians?
Technorati Tag: Mideast Peace Talks and Terrorism.