Caroline Glick

It was a normal Shabbat afternoon in Jerusalem's Ramot neighborhood. Children were outside visiting with their friends and playing in the empty streets. But the tranquility of the scene was destroyed in a moment, when a Palestinian terrorist crept up on 17- year-old Yehuda Ne'emad and his friend and began stabbing Ne'emad in the abdomen and shoulder.

Ne'emad's neighbor, a 12-year-old girl, told reporters that there but by the grace of God both she and her six-year-old brother would have also been attacked. After stabbing Ne'emad, the Palestinian terrorist began chasing the two children.

"It was only due to God's help that I was able to escape," she said. "I am sure that I couldn't have escaped alone, because he was much faster than me."

The IDF, which failed to prevent the attack, played no role in saving their lives. One week later, the terrorist was still at large.

One could be forgiven for thinking that the IDF would view Ne'emad's stabbing, along with the steep escalation of terror and sabotage from Ashdod to the Galilee to Gush Etzion over the past several days as a wake-up call. The time has come to ratchet up the IDF's counterterror operations in Judea and Samaria to end the current wave of terror before the Palestinians have the opportunity to get their killing machines back in gear.

But shockingly, it appears that defeating terrorists is at the bottom of the IDF's to-do list.

Statements emanating from the IDF's top echelons indicate its commanders are unaware that it is their job to fight and defeat terrorists.

Israel's release of hundreds of convicted Palestinian mass murderers in exchange for Gilad Schalit was a shot of adrenalin for Hamas and Fatah alike. Hamas views the swap as a vindication of its path of murder in the name of jihad. Fatah sees the swap as a challenge to its power that can be surmounted only by proving it can mount its own renewed terror assault against Israel.

Rather than meet this new challenge with an aggressive counterterror initiative, this week officers on the General Staff told Haaretz that Military Intelligence, the civil administration and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) believe the best way to respond to Hamas's ascendency is to release Fatah terrorists from jail and to give more land to Fatah's terror-aligned security forces in Judea and Samaria.

That is, those charged with fighting Hamas terrorists recommend empowering Fatah terrorists. And they do so at a time when Fatah's leadership refuses to have anything to do with the Israeli government and as Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas is preparing for his summit with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.

Caroline Glick

Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, where this article first appeared.

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