An Israeli military analyst has urged the army to “adapt” to recent Palestinian resistance operations in the occupied West Bank, accusing forces of a “soft” response to recent events.
Amos Harel, writing in Haaretz, described the West Bank as in a state of “turmoil”, noting the killing of a soldier and settler last Sunday in a combined stabbing and shooting near the illegal Ariel settlement.
The suspected assailant was subsequently killed in a “shoot-out” two days later, the same night as “two Palestinians were killed by IDF fire near Nablus”. On Thursday, meanwhile, “another Palestinian was killed, the fourth one this week and 10th this month, by a soldier near Bethlehem.”
According to Harel, “this was a case of a mistaken shooting”.
The Ariel assailant, 19-year-old Omar Abu Laila, “demonstrated great boldness”, said Harel, comparing the events to the killing of soldiers two months ago. Harel also criticised “insufficient alertness on the part of soldiers on the scene”.
Harel claimed that the incident “revealed, and not for the first time, a hesitant and ‘soft’ response by the soldiers who were attacked.”
Harel also suggested that Abu Laila “apparently operated on his own”, and that “one of his motives was the wish to avenge the death of a relative who was killed by the IDF during clashes with demonstrators in the adjacent town of Salfit, a week earlier.”