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Israeli Security Expert:'Greatest Concern Now Is Copycat Effect - Other Potential Terrorists May Also Try Vehicle Attacks'

'Terror Within Illustrates Danger In Bi-national State Ideal'


For the second time in a month, a Palestinian from East Jerusalem has carried out a terrorist attack using a speeding bulldozer - the terrorist deliberately plowed into five vehicles and narrowly missed a crowded bus. A number of Israeli civilians were injured before a nearby civilian and a policeman opened fire and shot dead the terrorist.

As in the similar attack three weeks ago, the terrorist was employed as the driver of the bulldozer. And as reported by IsraCast after that first attack, the danger is of the ' copy - cat ' phenomenon. In a briefing to the Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee just an hour or so before today's incident, Shabak Security Chief Yuval Diskin warned of more vehicular attacks. Diskin called on the Israeli authorities to demolish or seal-up the family homes of the terrorists as a deterrent. Minister of Public Security Avi Dichter also supports such a punitive measure but he added that legal issues were involved. The question remains: ' How many bulldozers and tractors are driving around Jerusalem being driven by potential terrorists? '


Tractor Terror In Jerusalem NUMBER 1


For the second time in four months, a Palestinian resident of Eastern Jerusalem has carried out a mass terror attack in Israel's capital. A tractor driver went on a killing spree crushing three Israelis and injuring dozens more as raced at high speed crashing into two buses and many cars along crowded Jaffa Street. IsraCast says Israeli security officials are concerned that similar type attacks may be attempted in the near future.

The killer, Hussam Tayisir Duwiyat

Not Qassam rockets, not suicide bombers with belts of explosives or firing machine guns, not women with explosives in their panties or children with bombs in their school bags - this time it was a Palestinian tractor driver. Hussam Tayisir Duwiyat aged 30 from the the Arab suburb of Sur Baher in East Jerusalem raced his massive vehicle at top speed at smashing two crowded buses and every car on the way along Jerusalem's crowded Jaffa Street. A thirty-three year old mother was crushed to death in her car while her baby in the back seat escaped miraculously without injury. A fifty-four year old woman who taught blind people and a sixty-six year old senior citizen were also killed, while more than forty others were hospitalized. Two of the victims were hit by the tractor after the driver had first been shot and wounded by an Israeli policewoman at the start of his deadly rampage. But the stunned driver recovered after a passerby hit him with a rock and continued on his mad spree.

The racing tractor took most people, even security guards by surprise. Those civilian guards check visitors to all public buildings, and the one protecting the broadcasting studios of foreign TV networks later admitted that he was stupefied. He admitted: 'I had the driver in my gun-sights and could have shot him but and I regret that I didn't. Maybe if I had, I could have saved the mother's life.' Why didn't he? Even the security guard couldn't say. It all happened so quickly and the expectancy of a tractor turning into a weapon of terror? It was not a identifiable suicide bomber yelling: 'Allah ahbar - God Is great' as he ran with his explosives belt or sprayed his machine gun at Israeli civilians. It was a tractor driver - so maybe Israeli who was having a heart attack or stroke - maybe the tractor's brakes had failed, or the vehicle had malfunctioned. The nightmare of several minutes ran its course of some 500 meters before an IDF soldier on leave grabbed a revolver climbed up on the tractor and shot dead the driver.

The terrorist had a minor criminal record but no known connection with a Palestinian terror group. He didn't need any. Since his birth. Duwiyat had been indoctrinated with virulent anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic propaganda. In kindergarten, small children are dressed up as 'shahid' with explosives, while in school the kids are taught with textbooks slandering the Jews and arithmetic is taught with examples such as: 'If a shahid blows himself up inside a Jewish bus with 50 passengers and kills 90% of them, how many Jews did he succeed in killing?' The official Palestinian TV network run by President Mahmoud Abbas often takes the same line. By the way, the Palestinian Authority couched its criticism of the tractor atrocity this way: 'it did not help the Palestinian national cause'.

The fact that the terrorist lived in eastern Jerusalem and therefore carried a blue Israeli identity card that granted him freedom of movement, made it relatively easy for him to carry out his attack. In recent years, the Shabak security service has caught several hundred terrorists from eastern Jerusalem. It is beyond dispute that the security fence and roadblocks have slashed terror attacks from the West Bank - 13 Israelis were killed last year compared to 426 in 2002. But Wednesday's attack as well as the shooting at the Jerusalem religious seminary four months ago, were perpetrated by Arab residents of Jerusalem illustrating the difficulty of combating 'terror within' . Moreover, the Arab residents of Sur Baher hail the two terrorists as national heroes. What's to be done? Both Prime Minister Olmert, Defense Minister Barak and several other ministers view this as intolerable and want to reconsider the past policy of demolishing the family homes of the suicide killers. They see this as one way to possibly deter religious fanatics. The issue is now before th Israeli courts.

The 'terror within' situation also illustrates the utter folly in the concept of a binational state where Jews and Palestinians would live happily ever after. Does anyone honestly believe that Islamist fanatics who rule the Gaza Strip, and are also prevalent in the West Bank and even in Jerusalem, would agree to live in peaceful coexistence with Israelis in one state? Lebanon by comparison would look like Switzerland. But in the short run, the biggest problem is trying to foresee similar type terror attacks. As one Israeli security official says: 'When the terrorists see a particular tactic pays off, they can be counted on to try it again'.

David Essing

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