On Thursday afternoon, Rabbi Meir Avshalom Chai was shot from ambush while driving on Route 557 between the settlements of Shavei Shomron and Einav, in Samaria. He died at the scene from multiple head wounds, according to reports. Aged 40 or 45 (reports differ) and a teacher at the local school, Rabbi Chai left a wife and seven children. The al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, a militia associated with Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah organization, took credit for the murder.
On Friday night, acting on intelligence from the Shabak [general security service], Israeli soldiers from the Duvdevan unit attempted to arrest three al-Aksa members:
Nader Raed Sukarji, a 40 year-old inhabitant of Shechem [Nablus], was arrested in 2002 and suspected of being a top Al Aksa terror group brigade operative and participant in many terror attacks. He also prepared bombs and helped establish explosives factories in Nablus. He was released from prison in January 2009…
Ghassan Abu Sharkh, 39, was imprisoned by security forces in 1990. His brother, Nayef, was the head of the Tanzim terror organization’s military wing in Nablus. Nayef facilitated several terror attacks until being killed by IDF forces in June 2004.
Anan Suleiman Mustafa Subih, 36, resident of Nablus, was an operative of the “Shuhada al-Aksa” brigade, which was involved in extensive Tanzim military operations as a cell of Tanzim in Nablus. The group was led by Nayef Abu Sharkh, until Nayef’s death. Subih worked in trafficking weapons and supplies for use in terror acts. Subih had recently been accepted to Israel’s amnesty program for Fatah gunmen. His participation in Tanzim activity was a direct violation of that agreement. — Arutz Sheva
The three refused to surrender and were shot dead by the IDF troops. A rifle found in the home of Subih was identified as having been used in the ambush.
So what is notable about this skirmish in the hundred-year old war against the Jews of Eretz Israel?
One thing was the response of the Palestinian Authority (PA), Israel’s supposed ‘peace partner’, which presently refuses to negotiate with Israel because, according to them, the settlement freeze is inadequate to meet Israel’s Roadmap obligations (the PA’s major roadmap obligation, it should be recalled, is to ‘fight terrorism’):
Nabil Abu Rudaineh, a spokesman for PA President Mahmoud Abbas, said that the Nablus raid, as well as the killing of three Palestinians [Hamas operatives -- ed.] from the Gaza Strip who tried to cross the border into Israel, showed that Israel “does not want peace.”
“The policy of assassinations and the indiscriminate killings reveal that Israel has decided to destroy the stability and security of the Palestinians,” Abu Rudaineh said. “Israel is seeking to drag our people into a new cycle of violence to avoid growing international pressure on the Israeli government to fulfill its obligations toward the peace process…”
Yasser Abed Rabbo, a senior PLO official and a close adviser to [PA President Mahmoud] Abbas, accused Israel of “returning to its policy of executing innocent Palestinians and members of the Palestinian security forces.” Abed Rabbo claimed that Israel was preparing for a “comprehensive and bloody terror campaign” against the Palestinians and the PA.
He added that Saturday’s events were in the context of Israel’s attempt to distract attention for its “bigger crimes – the demolition of houses in Jerusalem and the construction of the racist wall.”
PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said that the Nablus operation was intended to destroy his government’s efforts to restore law and order to the city. He too accused Israel of escalating tensions to avoid fulfilling its obligations under the terms of the road map for peace in the Middle East. Fayyad and commanders of the PA security forces visited the families of the three Fatah gunmen to offer condolences. — Jerusalem Post
I have not been able to find any comments by Fayyad, or any other Palestinian officials, that expressed even the slightest sympathy for the family of Rabbi Chai.
At the Fatah convention this August, the al-Aqsa brigades were formally endorsed as Fatah’s “military wing”. So official Palestinian concern for the murderers is understandable.
Keep in mind that the PA security forces are directly funded by the US, and are presently being trained by US General Keith Dayton. Which bring us to the next notable item:
The United States has demanded clarifications from Israel after IDF special forces killed three terrorists Saturday who murdered a civilian, Rabbi Meir Chai, on Thursday.
Calls were made to National Security Adviser Prof. Uzi Arad, apparently by senior U.S. Administration officials, in which he was asked to provide clarifications. The calls came from the United States after Palestinian Authority officials complained to the Americans that the IDF had carried out “executions.” — Arutz Sheva
One wonders if the US demanded ‘clarification’ from the Fatah-dominated PA about the actions of Fatah’s “military wing”? Nothing like support from an ally, is there?
Another thing: one of the terrorists was recently released from an Israeli prison in a ‘gesture to bolster Abbas’, while another one was a participant in a special program in which terrorists were asked to give their word that they would lay down their arms — another ‘gesture’. Can we learn anything from this?
And finally: I don’t know if the IDF could have arrested them without killing them, and in all honesty I don’t care. These are three murderers who will not be freed in some future ‘prisoner exchange’. Indeed, this action and similar ones should be viewed as the military operations that they are, and soldiers must not be judged by the standards applied to police officers operating in peacetime.