Incitement to stab Israelis in Jerusalem, from the Twitter account of Fatah's Office of Enlistment and Organization, October 4, 2015. The stabbing attacks carried out by lone attackers without terrorist records have become the main modus operandi in the current wave of terrorist attacks.
1. During the past month Israel has witnessed an intense wave of popular terrorism, part of what the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Fatah call the "popular resistance." Most of the attacks have been carried out by lone Palestinian attackers without terrorist records. The current wave of terrorism is carried out mainly by young Palestinians, has gone viral, feeds off itself and is primarily manifested by stabbing attacks in Israel. The intensity of the waves of violence and terrorism Israel has been facing for the six years of the so-called "popular resistance" is influenced by various factors. They include developments in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, internal Palestinian events, ongoing incitement and hate propaganda in the Palestinian media with the false claim that "Al-Aqsa mosque is in danger" and the frustration and anger of the younger generation of Palestinians leading the current wave of anti-Israeli terrorism and violence.
2. The results and nature of the current wave of terrorism have been particularly severe: eight Israelis and 29 Palestinians have been killed. There has been a continuous series of terrorist attacks in Israel's cities, military-type attacks have been carried out, daily life has been disrupted in Jerusalem and other Israeli population centers, and the Israeli Arab population has also been affected. As of October 15, 2015 the current wave of terrorism had not abated, and Israel is trying to respond with effective security and legislative measures. At this stage it is difficult to estimate what the results of those measures will be, and whether the current wave of terrorism will continue and intensify, or temporarily decrease and simmer until the next wave (as has been the experience of the past six years).
3. The PA and Fatah, which adopted the strategy of popular resistance six years ago, consistently repeat the lie, even during the current wave of terrorism, that the popular resistance is "peaceful and non-violent." PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and other senior PA figures repeatedly claim they do not want a new armed intifada of the sort Hamas and the other Palestinian terrorist organizations preach and demand, and that it is the Palestinian side that is under continual attack from Israel. However, they continually stress that the Palestinian "popular struggle" will continue, as was recently stated by Mahmoud Abbas. However, an analysis of the results of the so-called "peaceful resistance" of the past six years shows that the Palestinians consistently and methodically employ violence and terrorism. The terrorist attacks have killed 48 Israelis, most of them civilians, including the eight Israelis killed during the current wave.
4. Popular terrorism attacks include throwing stones, rocks and Molotov cocktails, and stabbing and vehicular attacks. There are also military-type attacks, including shooting attacks, mass-murders, and the abduction and murder of Israelis. The military-type attacks are not officially part of the popular resistance but they accompany it, are encouraged by it and have been responsible for most of the Israeli deaths during the past six years. Of the Israelis killed, 31 of the 48 (about 65%) were killed in military-type attacks, which are more deadly despite their relatively small number. The PA gives political and media support to the attackers, and usually does not unequivocally condemn the military-type attacks, despite their not being part of "popular resistance" strategy.
Victims of the Recent Wave of Palestinian Terrorism
5. Eight Israelis, five of them civilians, were killed in stabbing, shooting, stone-throwing and vehicular attacks in the recent wave of terrorism:
1) On October 13, 2015, a Palestinian killed Alon Govberg, 51, from Jerusalem, in a stabbing attack on a bus in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood of Jerusalem.
2) On October 13, 2015, a Palestinian killed Haim Haviv, 78, from Jerusalem, in a stabbing attack on a bus in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood of Jerusalem.
3) On October 13, 2015, a Palestinian killed Yeshaiahu Akiva Krishevsky, 59, from Jerusalem, in a vehicular attack on Malchei Israel Street in Jerusalem.
Left: Yeshaiahu Akiva Krishevsky (Kol Hazman website, October 13, 2015). Right: Haim Haviv (photo courtesy of the family)
4) On October 3, 2015, on Har Hagai Street in the Old City of Jerusalem, a terrorist stabbed four Israelis, three of the members of the same family, killing Aharon Bennett and Nehemiah Lavie.
Aharon Bennett (left) and Nehemiah Lavie (The Inner Sanctum, October 3, 2015).
5) On October 1, 2015, Palestinians shot at a car on the road between Alon Moreh and the Israeli community of Itamar near the Palestinian village of Beit Furik in Samaria. In the car were a mother and father and their four children. The Palestinians shot and killed parents Naama and Eitam Henkin; their children were unharmed.
Eitam and Naama Henkin
6) On September 14, 2015, on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, Alexander Levlowitz was killed. Palestinians threw stones at his car, causing him to lose control and crash. The attack occurred in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood of Jerusalem.
Alexander Levlowitz (Facebook)
6. The two appendices which follow analyze the terrorist attacks in which 48 Israelis were killed and examine the lethality of popular terrorism attacks vs. military-type attacks:
1) Appendix A analyzes the incidents in which Israelis have been killed during the six years of the popular resistance.
2) Appendix B compares the number of Israelis killed during the popular resistance with the number killed during the first and second intifadas.
In addition, 92 Israelis have been wounded, ten of them critically, 15 seriously, and 67 suffered minor injuries. In addition, 26 Israelis have been treated for shock (Ynet, October 14, 2015). In ITIC assessment several hundred Palestinians have been wounded.
For further information and an interim report on the current wave of Palestinian terrorism, see the October 13, 2015 "News of Terrorism and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict."
The PA and Fatah call the popular resistance muqawama silmiyya ("peaceful resistance") or muqawama ghier musaliha ("unarmed resistance").
Mahmoud Abbas continues repeating his lies even during the current wave of Palestinian terrorism and violence. For example, at the opening ceremony of a Ramallah contractor's new building he claimed that "We do not use violence or force. We believe in peace and the popular resistance. It is our right and duty to continue [the popular resistance] as long as there is aggression [against us]. We do not attack anyone and we do not want anyone to attack us…We strengthen the hands of our brothers who are defending Al-Aqsa…We want peace and our hands are extended in peace, despite the suffering we endure…" (Wafa News Agency, October 8, 2015). Mahmoud Abbas gave a speech on October 14, 2015, reiterating the familiar claim that the Palestinians are the victims of "aggression" and terrorism inflicted on them by the government of Israel and the settlers. He claimed the Palestinians would continue their "legitimate popular struggle, which focuses on the Palestinian right to self defense, founded on popular non-violent foundations" (Palestinian TV, October 14, 2015).