by Nadene GoldfootA drive by shooting occurred in Israel Thursday where a young rabbi was murdered. Rabbi Meir Avshalom Chai of Shavei Shomron, 40 years old, was hit and killed. He was the father of seven children. This happened in what the general public calls the West Bank. It lies in the Northern Samarian hills so is in what Israelis call Samaria. The West Bank Barrier is planned to enclose on the Israeli side all of the Central-Western Shomron settlements except for the three northernmost, Avnei Hefetz, Einav, and Shavei Shomron, and four Northern Shomron towns, (all the remaining ones other than the two southernmost, Hermesh and Mevo Dotan), but not any of the Mountain Communities. About 20,000 Jews live there, and the area makes up about 10% of Israel.
Israeli Special forces surrounded the Nablus homes of the three Alesa martyrs Brigades operatives in order to arrest them for the murderous attack. The men refused to come out after being called to come out. The terrorist hid in his room and sent his wife out to the soldiers.
In such cases where there is a threat to the troops and a wanted militant refuses to surrender, IDF forces are permitted to open fire in order to neutralize the threat. The risk factor was very high in this operation. The IDF knew that the group that these three belonged to were highly skilled, had firearms and posed a threat.
They followed IDF regulations and first fired protest dispersal ammunition, then fired at the walls, and only lastly fired at the militants. The result was that the troops opened fire and killed them. They can't afford to fool around. Knowing this, a fourth wanted militant turned himself into the Palestinian authorities. Notice here that the Palestinian police were not on top of this as they should have been. It was up to the Israeli soldiers to find these murderers.
In one of the homes, the soldiers found two hidden rifles and two guns. They were taken to the police laboratories to check if they were used in Thursday's attack.
The killers were 38 and 39 years old. One's wife was also wounded in the operation, probably the one sent out by her husband who could have been in the line of fire.
What we see is an Israeli Rabbi murdered in cold blood. The terrorists are using this just as bullies do. They are angry that Israel has punished the killers and are condemning Israel and causing "dangerous escalation" in the West Bank. Israel then gets the blame in the news for self protection.
Interestingly at the same time of this terrible event, passengers on an American airplane were fighting a terrorist of their own who was trying to blow up the plane. One wonders if there was any planned synchonization here, or just an abundance of terrorism happening just before Christmas.
Additional information very worthwhile to read: article by Victor Sharpe
BBC News Sat 26 Dec 2009