Declaration of WarOctober 1, 1998
The Arabs have, officially, declared war on The Jewish Community of Hebron. This is, of course, not a secret. We have been talking about it for well over 10 years, since the outbreak of the Intifada. Then, we were ignored. Unfortunately, we are still being ignored.
One month ago an Arab terrorist climbed in through the bedroom window of Rabbi Shlomo Ra’anan in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood and murdered him. In the space of one week there have been two shooting attacks in the Hebron vicinity – one in Kiryat Arba, and one on the road between Beit Hadassah and Tel Rumeida. Yesterday a terrorist tossed two hand grenades into the main street of Hebron, injuring 14 police and soldiers and another 11 Arabs.
How many of the perpetrators have been apprehended? Zero.
Why not? Very simply, Israel no longer has any intelligence coming out of the Arafat-controlled areas. Israeli security forces refuse to enter into the H1 – Arafat controlled section of Hebron. According to media reports, following the attack yesterday soldiers pursued the terrorist until he was ‘no longer in their line of vision.’ How can it be expected that any murdered will be caught if he is able to escape into his refuge, which is seconds, or at most, minutes, from the source of the terrorist attack? All he or she has to do is turn a corner, out of our soldier’s sight, and he is home free.
The Prime Minister, in a statement following yesterday’s attack, blamed Arafat for not stopping terrorism. General Yitzhak Eitan, Commander of Forces in Judea and Samaria called on the ‘palestinian police’ to do their jobs and prevent terrorism. The military commander of Hebron, Lt. Colonel Yigal, met with his ‘palestinian counterpart’ to discuss ways to prevent more attacks.
Rubbish – Rubbish, and more Rubbish.
How can anyone in their right mind expect any of the Arab forces in Hebron to protect Jews from further terrorist attacks? Jibril Ragoub, number one terrorist thug in Hebron, Arafat’s security chief and right-hand man, continues to call for the removal ofHebron’s Jewish community. It is known, without any doubt, that he encourages attacks against Jews. Israeli intelligence, as reported in the media, has discovered that ‘settlers’ are now the primary target of Hamas attacks. Does anyone really expect Arafat to worry about our lives, our children’s lives, our security?
The Minister of Defense, Yitzhak Mordechai, is no less to blame than Netanyahu. He is a bone in our throats. He is, single handedly, preventing further building in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood, in spite of promises made by the Prime Minister after Rabbi Ra’anan’s murder. Mordechai is interested in one thing, and one thing only: Quiet. And it seems that that is of such paramount importance that it makes no difference if the ‘quiet’ is achieved at the cost of Jewish blood. Mordechai, as chief of the armed forces, has the ability and the responsibility to give the orders necessary to provide security in Hebron. He consistently refuses to give those orders.
What do we want?
Prime Minister Netanyahu promised, before the implementation of the Hebron Accords, to provide full security in Hebron. He guaranteed anything and everything, including bringing tanks into Hebron, should we be shot at.
Before the accords were implemented, we pointed at the hill tops and the roofs of the Arab houses surrounding us and told the Prime Minister and members of his cabinet, “If you give this to them, we will be shot at and attacked.” Again, we were ignored. The Prime Minister has yet to remember his promises. It is time for him to start to fulfill his pledges. Enough of abandoning Hebron’s families and visitors.
The Prime Minister must expand the borders of the H2- Israeli controlled part of Hebron. Only a few days ago Lt. Colonel Yigal admitted publicly that it is virtually impossible to provide protection for Hebron’s Jewish community within the present boundaries. In other words, he declared that the Hebron Accords are a failure. It will not be easy for the Prime Minister to change the border, but he has little choice, unless he has decided to totally abandon Hebron to Arafat.
The Prime Minister must also make clear to the Defense Minister the facts of life: either he does his job, or he goes home! A defense minister who prefers ‘quiet’ to security is not only worthless, he is dangerous. Not only does he endanger the security ofHebron, he jeopardizes the security of the State of Israel. He is pressing Netanyahu to ‘get on with the piece process.’ This must also stop, and stop now.
Netanyahu must not attend a 2nd ‘Camp David’ planned for two weeks from now. He must stand up and announce that in light of the failure of the Oslo Accords and the Hebron Accords, Arafat will not receive more land. It is absurd to continue to give Arafat more and more land, land which will only be used by his terrorist thugs to prepare more bombs, and later be used as a refuge by the killers.
I am asked frequently what will happen ‘after the next redeployment.’ I hope it will never happen, of course. But, should Netanyahu actually go through with it, he must know that his premiership has ended. His government will fall and he will not be reelected, come what may.
The fact of the matter is this: True, the Arabs have declared war on Hebron, but this is just the beginning. Should they be successful in this battle, the bloodshed will continue. First, throughout Judea, Samaria and Gazza. And then, into what is called ‘Israel proper.’ Residents in Petach Tikvah, Kfar Saba, Haifa, Akko, and Tel Aviv will eventually find themselves under attack, just as today, we are under attack. The declaration of war that began in 1948, with the creation of the State, is continuing. The present front is Hebron. The time has come for Israel’s leadership to wake up and fight back, not only defensively, but also offensively and stop Arab expansion now, before the rocks, bottles and bullets and bombs that are flying here, reach the rest of the country.