Lone wolf attacks on the rise as Palestinian incitement soars

There have been seven serious attacks, mostly in Jerusalem, in the last month.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

The number of lone-wolf Palestinian terror attacks on Jews has risen sharply in the last month, with incitement in Palestinian media considered a major cause.

Since mid-November, there have been seven attacks that have all been praised and covered extensively by both Hamas and Palestinian Authority (PA) backed outlets. Four of them were stabbings: two Border Police officers were knifed in the Old City, one ultra-Orthodox man was stabbed near Damascus Gate, and a young mother was stabbed in front of her children by a female teenaged terrorist in the Shimon HaTzaddik neighborhood of the capital.  Another took place in Jaffa, when a 67-year-old man was stabbed five times. All the victims were either lightly or moderately injured.

Last week, a Palestinian teenager rammed a car he stole from his father into a checkpoint near Tulkarem, seriously injuring the security guard. And in the beginning of the month two Israelis mistakenly drove into Ramallah and were attacked by a mob that spontaneously gathered and pulled them from their vehicle, which was then torched. They were rescued by Palestinian security forces – who were then slammed publicly by Hamas for having done so.

In the most serious incident, a Hamas activist shot and killed Eliyahu Kay and wounded four others near the Western Wall before being killed by security personnel.

There was also a spate of three knife attacks in three days in September in or near Jerusalem. Two people were stabbed multiple times near the city’s central bus station, an attempted stabbing took place at the Gush Etzion Junction, where an Arab ran at a group of soldiers at a bus stop with a knife before the troops shot and injured him, and a police officer was wounded in the Old City. That round was attributed to the heightened tensions surrounding the temporary escape from prison of six Palestinian terrorists.

According to the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, ever since Operation Guardian of the Walls in May, Hamas has raised its level of incitement, calling on people on an individual level to attack any random Israelis, especially in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.

In two of these recent attacks Hamas claimed the perpetrators as their so-called “martyrs,” but stopped short of taking official responsibility for their actions. The Center called them evidence of Hamas’ success in provoking violence, with its constant praise for such actions that is publicized widely in their media.

The report also pointed out that Palestinians constantly throw rocks, Molotov cocktails and paint bottles at vehicles on the roads in Judea and Samaria. Dozens if not hundreds of these attacks take place monthly, although it is rarely reported in mainstream media unless they result in injury or death, which are luckily a rare occurrence.

Stone throwing in Jerusalem is less common, but over the weekend Kan News reported that a group of Arab youth seriously damaged ten cars parked near the Shimon HaTzaddik neighborhood.

The Palestinian Authority, meanwhile, works quietly with Israel on security, especially when it means arresting Hamas supporters, as Hamas is the PA’s most feared rival. But PA media organs constantly quote officials’ hateful rhetoric and wild accusations against the Israeli government and, especially, the “settlers.” Their periodic charges that the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount is under attack or being “invaded” either by security forces or settlers is a common form of incitement that has reaped bloody results for years.

The PA also incites to terrorism through the education it provides for its children. The 14-year-old suspect in the stabbing of the young mother was carrying PA-approved textbooks that encouraged violent attacks on Israelis. IMPACT-se, an Israeli watchdog group which raises the alarm about virulently antisemitic and anti-Israel content in books used in Palestinian and UNRWA-run schools, said in a statement Sunday that “These textbooks are strategically created by the PA to promote a culture of hate and violence among 1.3 million children.”

The security forces are constantly trying to prevent terrorist attacks, but the difficulty in catching the so-called ‘lone wolves’ before they act is readily acknowledged. This, even with computer algorithms that Israel has been using for the last several years to try and predict who could be the next terrorist to be inspired to kill a Jew on the streets or roads of the country.