The terror of the lone terrorists is back with a vengeance

The phenomenon of lone terrorists returns and focuses on the city of Jerusalem as a result of the poisonous Palestinian incitement in the media and social networks. In recent weeks, Palestinian incitement has increased as a result of the IDF's war against terrorism in the northern West Bank and the events on the Temple Mount.

Contrary to all predictions, terrorism arrived in the city of Jerusalem even before the month of Ramadan.
Israel is once again attacked by the phenomenon of lone wolf terrorism, as we saw this weekend in the capital city of Jerusalem in two attacks, one in the Neve Ya’akov neighborhood where a lone terrorist, aged 21, killed 7 Israeli citizens and in the City of David near the village of Silwan in the Old City of Jerusalem where another terrorist, a teenager, 13 years old, opened fire at 2 other citizens and injured them.

The lone wolf method was devised by Abu Mouseb al-Suri, one of the leaders of the global jihad, in a book published in 2004 in which he talks about the creation of small and independent terrorist cells, of a single terrorist or several terrorists, operating independently of any terrorist organization.

This allows them to carry out terrorist acts unexpectedly, without being detected in advance by the security services in the area where they operate, what fuels them is the fuel of extreme Islamic incitement and they see themselves as defenders of Islam and its symbols.

Palestinian anger in East Jerusalem and the West Bank has begun to rise in recent days following the visit of National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir to the Temple Mount and the IDF’s operation in the Jenin refugee camp in which 9 Palestinians were killed, most of them terrorists.

PA Chairman Abu Mazen announced the end of security coordination with Israel following the IDF operation in the Jenin refugee camp, while several Arab countries condemned the attack in the Neve Yaakov neighborhood in Jerusalem, he avoided any condemnation, which is interpreted by the Palestinian street as support for future terrorism.

Abu Mazen’s office issued an official statement accusing the Netanyahu government of the latest escalation.

The struggle over the Temple Mount

The incitement systems of Hamas, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority have been focused since the IDF’s operation in the Gaza Strip in May 2021 on the Temple Mount, in recent days the incitement has increased as a result of Minister Itamar Ben Gvir’s visit to the Temple Mount.

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit to Jordan and his assurance to King Abdullah that Israel has no intention of changing the status que in the Temple Mount and harming Jordan’s position as the guardian of the holy places in Jerusalem had no effect whatsoever on the incitement that continues without a break.

Jordan, the Palestinian Authority and the Hamas movement are spreading fake news that Israel will try to divide the Temple Mount complex and build a synagogue in its place, Jews will be allowed free entry into the complex, not as visitors, and the entire complex will operate in an arrangement similar to that in which the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron has operated since 1994.

To this must be added the significant increase in the number of Israeli visitors to the Temple Mount, something that has become a daily conflict and a regular issue in the Palestinian incitement campaign.
The Israeli Shin Bet, which monitors social networks, was unable to detect the intentions of the two individual terrorists in advance, they did not leave any Facebook posts or wills and kept their malicious intentions to themselves until the moment of execution.

The Islamic religious incitement system defines these terrorists as holy martyrs who will go straight to heaven and enjoy its benefits, their families enjoy respect in Palestinian society as those whose sons defended Islam and the Al-Aqsa Mosque and they even receive a monthly salary from the Palestinian Authority.

The success of the attacks encourages the imitation phenomenon and therefore the danger is imminent that there will soon be more attacks by lone wolves that are difficult to thwart in advance.

The Israeli Shin Bet, like other security organizations in the West, does not have an adequate answer to the lone wolf phenomenon, it is a phenomenon that is very difficult to deal with from an intelligence point of view and to thwart it, it is difficult to get into the mind of the potential threat, especially if the lone terrorist takes precautions and does not share his maliciousness plans with his closest circle to carry out an attack.

The Hamas and Islamic Jihad organizations encourage the lone wolf phenomenon, the security officials’ fear is that the lone terrorists who plan to carry out attacks in the month of Ramadan will focus on the area of the Old City of Jerusalem, as close as possible to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, in order to gain a religious aura and present themselves as the defenders of the Al-Aqsa Mosque from the Jews who plan to harm it .

A Muslim who is killed in the month of Ramadan, which is a holy month in the religion of Islam, is declared a martyr and receives great social respect.

The Shin Bet and the police are now increasing the monitoring of the social networks of the Palestinians in East Jerusalem and the West Bank in order to try and locate potential lone wolves ahead of time who are planning to carry out attacks against Israelis.

Israel must beef up the security forces in the city centers in Israel and especially in the area of the Old City of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount and increase the awareness and alertness of the citizens to what is happening around them especially in crowded places and shopping centers.

Strengthening deterrence is very important and may cause the lone wolves to regret and not carry out their plan at the last moment, the message that must be conveyed by various means is that any terrorist who comes to kill Jews will not get out alive.

Yoni Ben Menachem Senior Middle East Analyst

About Yoni Ben Menachem

Yoni Ben Menachem is a Middle East senior analyst ,a journalist and
the former CEO of the Israel Broadcasting Authority(IBA). He has
decades of experience in written and video journalism. Ben
Menachem’s path in the media world began as a producer for
Japanese television in the Middle East. After that, he held many key
positions in the media The Israeli: CEO of the Israel Broadcasting
Authority, director of “Kol Israel” Radio, reporter on West Bank and
Gaza Strip affairs, political reporter and commentator, commentator
on Middle East affairs and editor-in-chief and presenter of the
program “Middle East Magazine”. 

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