Truck ramming terrorism returns to where such first found targets, Israel. On the promenade in the Amon Hanatziv neighborhood in Jerusalem where soldiers were getting off a bus, a truck rammed into the crowd on Sunday killing four and wounded seventeen (disturbing video below). The attack could have been far worse if not for the timely acts of a civilian security guard/guide who shot the terrorist as he was turning the truck for a second ramming. Quoting an interview printed in the Jerusalem Post, they reported,
Security guard and tour guide Eitan Rund told Army Radio that after the truck drove into the crowd, “I saw the truck go in reverse, and then I realized that it wasn’t an accident. I ran toward him [the driver] and emptied my whole clip. He drove backward and onto the wounded again. They were motionless, some wounded and some scared. It wasn’t a good scene. There was hesitation to open fire. I have no doubt that this was a significant factor, because all they tell them recently is to be careful. It could be that a few minutes less of hesitation and the situation would have been better.”
We here at BTC find the fact that soldiers at the scene, many of them armed, were so hesitant to fire at the terrorist that this might have produced the first fatalities due to the recent events and the trial that found Sergeant Elor Azariya guilty of manslaughter. We had predicted just such a scenario where soldiers would die from hesitating to shoot fearing legal repercussions in our recent article, What the Guilty Verdict of Sgt. Elor Azariya Will Mean. From the video it appears that nobody at the scene could have prevented the truck striking the crowd as it came screaming from the street directly into the people departing the bus with less than a second to react. Perhaps, if there was hesitation, it came once it appeared the terrorist was attempting to turn the truck for a second run. The evidence that some hesitated was the fact that the cab of the truck was not riddled with 5.56mm rounds having punched holes in the chassis and smashing through the windshield. Instead, the windshield appears to have approximately a dozen holes signifying bullet strikes with a few appearing to have multiple hits (see image below). The reality is that after twenty seconds of the above video, when the soldiers waiting a short distance from the attack behind a Jersey Wall barrier start to run in a direction away from the terrorist and the truck, a number can be seen to have weapons and are showing absolutely no interest in running towards the truck to engage but are running away. The soldiers with weapons were amongst some of the last to flee, but they appear not to be advancing to shoot and engage the terrorist. This was some of the evidence that perhaps shooting terrorists has become something viewed as a dangerous idea and as long as anybody else is engaging, then best not to shoot and end up tried for needlessly placing too much firepower at the target.
The IDF officer, Col. Yaniv Aluf, commander of the IDF Officers School, was the officer who carried out a preliminary investigation of the attack. His report conflicts with the version of events reported by the civilian security guard’s interview where he reported that soldiers hesitated. Col. Yaniv Aluf’s investigation suggested that at least two cadets fired toward the terrorist at close range. Major General Moti Almoz agreed with the Colonel claiming that it was wrong to suggest that soldiers were hesitant to shoot or especially that the Azaria conviction had any bearing on the incident. Major General Almoz added that the soldiers likely did not know initially that this was a terrorist attack and were probably thinking it was a car accident. Almoz was quoted stating, “The moment that they realized that it was an attack, two cadets fired toward the truck.” That was two soldiers out of how many who were armed, that would be a point worth knowing. With the numbers of soldiers and the many that had weapons, that truck should have looked more like those in movies where the vehicle falls apart once touched and not simply having a dozen bullet holes in the windshield. We are fairly sure that there will be no responses from any of the soldiers at the scene as they were likely briefed and instructed not to talk to the media.
The grim reality comes in the form of the names of the deceased. Three female soldiers – 20-year-old Lt. Yael Yekutiel of Givatayim, 22-year-old Lt. Shir Hajaj of Ma’aleh Adumim, and 20-year-old Sec.-Lt. Shira Tzur of Haifa – and one male soldier, 20-year old Sec.-Lt. Erez Orbach of Alon Shvut, were declared dead at the scene. Additionally, the hospital reported that two cadets were seriously wounded, and fifteen other officers and cadets sustained less severe wounds. Our prayers are that they all make recoveries such that there can be some small miracles from this horrifying event. The terrorist was identified as Fadi al-Qanbar, from the nearby neighborhood of Jebl Mukaber, long a source of incitement and attackers. Some reports claimed that the terrorist’s family was known to have ties to terrorist activity. Before anybody asks why this person was not under surveillance, even if such a tactic was thought to be a deterrent, there are not sufficient security personnel to follow every potential terrorist within the areas under Israeli control. As far as giving the Arabs the lands the world claims would satisfy them and end the terror, one question if you don’t mind, why were the Arabs launching terror attacks before June of 1967 when there was no “occupied territory” and why were there pogrom like riots in Jerusalem and Hevron in the 1920’s and 1930’s before there was even a State of Israel. The terrorism has nothing to do with “occupied territory” unless you claim all of Israel is “occupied territory” and every home and apartment where lives a Jew is “occupied territory,” then you might be closer to correct. Mahmoud Abbas has stated numerous times that he will only end terrorist activities when all of Israel has been defeated and made Judenrein. That is his final compromise, all of Israel destroyed and every Jew dead. How is Israel to negotiate with such?
All the conferences like we will speak on tomorrow and all the wondrous exclamations of how peace can be attained by Israel for a small price, all these grand and eloquent statespersons from Europe, the United States State Department and President Obama from the White House all misunderstand Mahmoud Abbas’s claim to his desire for the missing 22% which is rightfully Arab. If we may be permitted a quote from Egyptian Judge, Justice El Araby, from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and who sat in judgement as part of the panel which heard the case where the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) sought an advisory opinion in 2003 from the ICJ on the legality of the security barrier erected by Israel. The Honorable Justice El Araby warned the UNGA and others that filing further ran some risks, as he stated,
“The international legal status of the Palestinian Territory (paras. 70-71 of the Advisory Opinion), in my view, merits more comprehensive treatment. A historical survey is relevant to the question posed by the General Assembly, for it serves as the background to understanding the legal status of the Palestinian Territory on the one hand and underlines the special and continuing responsibility of the General Assembly on the other. This may appear as academic, without relevance to the present events. The present is however determined by the accumulation of past events and no reasonable and fair concern for the future can possibly disregard a firm grasp of past events. In particular, when on more than one occasion, the rule of law was consistently side-stepped. The point of departure, or one can say in legal jargon, the critical date, is the League of Nations Mandate which was entrusted to Great Britain.”
This advisory would be well heeded by these coming conferences and potential United Nations Security Council endorsing and attempting to enforce any grand solution on Israel by establishing an Arab State of Palestine with defined borders which Israel had not agreed to grant. The truth is that under real and standing International Law derived from the Balfour Declaration, the San Remo Conference, the Treaty of Sèvres, Treaty of Lausanne, the British Mandate, the Churchill White Papers, Anglo-American Convention, Article 80 of the United Nations Charter et al. For a fairly straight forward coverage of the rights for the establishment of the State of Israel at the very minimum on all lands west of the Jordan River, please refer to Legal Rights and Title of Sovereignty of the Jewish People to the Land of Israel and Palestine under International Law. The reality is that any Arab State can thus far only be established in Gaza as Israel voluntarily, if also foolishly granting too much relying upon trust in promises in a private letter from a President of the United States which apparently can be ignored once they leave office as proven by President Obama claiming the letter has no legal standing and he did not make and thus will not keep the promises within, let that be a cautionary note to all putting faith in promises from American Presidents. Any further release of land by Israel would be excessively foolish but it is also the sole legal manner in which there can be any future state for the Palestinians and as long as their terrorist means and claims to erase all of Israel killing all the Jews found within continue, there will be no such surrender of territories for that purpose or any other. The ongoing threat to take Israel before the ICJ and win the rights to lands, according to Abbas all of the lands, but any lands will find their decision handed down being that all the lands belong rightfully to Israel and that only through an agreement, a treaty, can there be anything resembling an Arab State within the borders of the Jordan River west to the Mediterranean Sea. This is why despite constant threats from Abbas and his merry henchmen and the European Union and numerous European governments to take Israel before the ICJ and force Israel to grant the Palestinians their rightful state has and never will happen is because they all know the legal rights and claim Israel holds to these lands and they are aware that they would not only lose in the ICJ but that all future arguments they wish to present would become worthless. Even should the Arabs conquer the lands, they would still revert to the Jews whenever they decided to sue in the ICJ for their rightful inheritance and the only manner around such would be to get a representative for Israel to sign a surrendering document giving up all claims to these lands. We would advise against holding your breath as that will cause unconsciousness.
Beyond the Cusp