In a speech Tuesday, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkott stressed that while Israel needed to battle terror with all the means at its disposal, it needed to remember that it was responsible for the day to day life of millions of Palestinians – and that ensuring that they were able to make a living was an important component of Israel’s defense.
Speaking at an event in memory of former Chief of Staff Amnon Lipkin Shachak, at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Einsenkott said that out of the dozens of terror attacks that have taken place in Israel since October – when the current terror wave began – only one terrorist had entered Israel using a work permit. “We checked the data, and we found that the only terrorist who entered an Israeli town using a work permit was the terrorist who murdered Dafna Meir, Hy”d, at her home in Otniel last month.” The murderer was Morad Badar Abdallah Adias, a 16-year-old from a village near the Arab town of Yatta in the south Hevron Hills.
All the others were either Israeli Arabs, Yerushalayim residents with permits to travel anywhere in Israel, or illegals who had managed to sneak into Israel. “95 percent of them are young people, many of them teenagers, unmarried and without children,” said Eisenkott.
“It is an Israeli interest to help the Palestinian economy develop,” said Eisenkott. “It is not difficult to imagine what would happen to the 120,000 Palestinians who have permits to work in Israel, and how many of them could be recruited out of desperation to join terror groups.” Israel has faced terror waves before – and successfully brought them under control. “Between 2000 and 2005, over 1,000 people were killed in terror attacks,” but since then the number has dropped significantly, he added.