Shoot or not shoot?

Shoot or not shoot?

Against the background of regular news about terrorist attacks in Israel, the recent story of the interrogation and seizure of weapons from the soldiers of the MAGAV unit who shot a terrorist in the Old City of Jerusalem is already forgotten. In fact, for the servicemen who neutralized the Palestinian illegal who stabbed the 20-year-old Orthodox and themselves, things could have ended much worse. Suffice it to recall the trial of Elora Azaria, who received a short but real term for a control shot at a terrorist. Meanwhile, in both cases, the military acted according to instructions: even a wounded terrorist must be neutralized if there is a risk that he will activate the martyr's belt. As one of the officers put it, “If there is doubt, then there is no doubt.”

Apparently, something is changing in our reality, because this time it did not come to court. Weapons were returned to the Magawniks and even grateful for their professionalism and decisive action. Their commanders, leading politicians and army leaders & ndash; all expressed their full support. In short, the incident is over. But still the residue remained.

And not just sediment. Even a formal investigation and temporary confiscation of weapons from military personnel after a terrorist attack plays into the hands of our enemies. Hamas and other Palestinian and pro-Palestinian sources disseminate 'massacre' videos over a Palestinian, cutting off the footage of his attack on an unarmed man. Human rights defenders of all stripes are wailing cold-blooded execution and 'indifference to human life.' Nothing else could be expected from this brotherhood, but why give Israel's opponents another reason to attack? Why undermine the motivation and combat capability of our soldiers? After all, this could have fatal consequences for all of us, especially now, when tensions are on the rise again, primarily in the West Bank and Jerusalem. It is no coincidence that both Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid mentioned in their comments that Jerusalem “ should not become a breeding ground for terrorism. ''

But how can you fight terrorism if you drag soldiers for interrogation after each shot? Should we expect an effective response from the army to terror, if every soldier walks under the sword of Damocles of investigation? By the way, the case against the MAGAV fighters has not yet been officially closed, despite their return to service.

If a soldier or police officer, at a critical moment, ponders whether he will go to trial for shooting a terrorist, it could cost him or someone else's life. If a soldier is not sure that his commanders, the government and the whole country do not stand behind him when he protects the lives of citizens, if he chooses not to shoot so as not to get himself into trouble, & ndash; it is scary to think what will happen to our army and to us. If parents are afraid that their son or daughter will be killed while they doubt their right to open fire, we will have more deserters and deviators. Already, many mothers are accompanying their children into the army with the words: “Let you go to jail, but come back alive.” Isn't it a shame for the Jewish state & ndash; a soldier's choice between life and prison?

It is clear that with the help of such proceedings, the State of Israel demonstrates to the whole world that it observes the rule of law even in relation to
terrorists. But this does not work: our military is still considered murderers and aggressors (it is they, and not the “ fighters against the occupation ''), various international courts declare them criminals and issue warrants for their arrest. Our own investigations only help these judges and prosecutors. What will politicians do if one fine day some of the soldiers or officers are actually detained abroad and imprisoned for “ war crimes ''?

But this is not the worst thing. Much worse is the threat to security, which arises from the fact that the state is constantly looking back at international public opinion and imaginary legality. Yes, this legality & ndash; imaginary and invented, because the law protecting the murderer leaves his victims unprotected. Stop equating Palestinian terrorists with unreasonable children clutching knives out of poverty and hopelessness, or fiery patriotic fighters who have the right to do anything for the freedom of their unfortunate “ occupied ''. homeland. These 'children' and 'patriots' shed so much blood, left so many orphaned, inconsolable families that they should initially be outlawed. No law should protect someone who infringes on our safety.

All actions of the State of Israel and its officials must clearly state one thing: the terrorist who attacked people is not a “ victim '', not wounded, shot in cold blood, instead of compassionately and civilized to provide him with medical assistance, & ndash; our Arab deputies are repeating this in unison with Hamas. This is a dangerous criminal who has come to take a human life, and he does not deserve compassion. It doesn't matter what he has in his hands & ndash; knife, machine gun, steering wheel of a car or remote control from the martyr's belt.

It is difficult to imagine such a decision in the current right-left government, but nevertheless, the IDF's instructions to open fire must sooner or later be changed. And above all, it is necessary to ensure our military personnel immunity from prosecution for actions in the course of terrorist attacks. In cases where such an investigation is truly necessary, it should take place behind closed doors, without publicity, political commentary and media coverage. This is how many police investigations are conducted, so why can't we protect the good name of our soldiers and our army in the same way?

Now is not the right moment to relax. The number of terrorist attacks is growing. Increasingly, they are committed by loners, who are difficult to calculate by operational methods, with the help of agents and intelligence. We can rely only on our army on the ground, on the professionalism and quick reaction of our soldiers. And they, in turn, must be sure that the state will not leave them to their fate and will not condemn them for defending their own and other people's lives.

Author: Irina Petrova

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