Israel Launches Operation Shield And Arrow To Prevent Further Palestinian Islamic Jihad Terrorism

Khader Adnan was arrested 12 times by Israel on terrorism-related charges. As the former spokesperson for Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), a recognized terrorist organization in Canada, the European Union, United Kingdom, Japan, United States, and elsewhere, Adnan was a prominent advocate for violence against innocent Israeli civilians.

A 2007 video of Adnan shows him lauding suicide bombings against Israelis, asking an audience “Who among you will carry the next explosive belt? Who among you will fire the next bullets? Who among you will have his body parts blown all over?”

For Palestinian Islamic Jihad, such rhetoric extended past words. The group has carried out scores of attacks against Israeli civilians, including a suicide bomb attack on a restaurant in the Israeli city of Haifa in 2003, which killed 21 innocent people, and a 2006 suicide bombing at a Tel Aviv shawarma restaurant, which murdered 11 civilians.

Adnan, who remained a senior official in Palestinian Islamic Jihad, was most recently arrested by Israel on February 3, 2023 on terrorism charges. Upon his incarceration, he underwent a self-imposed hunger strike, ultimately dying as a result on May 2.

Shortly after his suicide by hunger strike, Palestinian Islamic Jihad fired dozens of rockets into Israel from the Gaza Strip, and groups of Palestinian began rioting in Judea & Samaria (called the “West Bank” by the news media).

Eventually, more than 100 rockets were fired by the group into Israel, and some of them hit vehicles and cars, injuring civilians, though nobody was killed in the onslaught.

Over the coming days in response to the violence, Israel carried out air strikes in the Gaza Strip targeting the group’s infrastructure and senior leadership. Israel was successful in killing three senior commanders of Palestinian Islamic Jihad who it said posed an immediate threat to the safety of Israelis.

And as if on cue, the group soon vowed revenge, saying it would avenge the dead terrorists. Even Hamas, the Gaza-based terrorist group-turned governing authority of the coastal enclave, threatened to join the fray, saying in a statement that “Our people know how to strike at the enemy and respond to its crimes in a manner that will bring our people closer to salvation.”

While the news may appear on the surface as a tit-for-tat conflict, often called the ‘cycle of violence’ by some news media outlets, there can be no moral equivocation between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

The group is a fanatical organization which is dedicated to the destruction of Israel. Its primary goal is to establish an Islamic regime on the entirety of what is today the State of Israel. But their dispute with Israel is not about real estate; nor is it territorial: it’s existential and is grounded entirely in ideology.

According to Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s outlook, “Palestine is the focus of the religio-historical confrontation between the Muslims and their eternal enemies, the Jews.” Thus, there is no peace agreement or concession that Israel can make to assuage them; Israel as a whole must be eliminated for religious reasons.

Unsurprisingly, if there is no room for negotiation about Israel’s very existence, then it follows that the group not only seeks to destroy Israel, but pursue that end with violence.

In the face of a fanatical, violent organization that has shown not just tolerance of, but indeed an enthusiastic embrace of murdering innocent Israeli civilians, Israel has little choice but to do its utmost to defend its population.

Even when Israel takes actions to defend its citizens from violence perpetrated by groups like Palestinian Islamic Jihad or Hamas, the country goes to extreme lengths to minimize civilian casualties on the Palestinian side. Famously, the Israeli Air Force invented a tactic called “roof knocking,” a warning system aimed at informing civilians that they should vacate the vicinity lest they be injured.

However, even such Israeli tactics are imperfect, and tragically sometimes Palestinian civilians are injured or killed in the conflict. But while these civilians are not targeted by Israel, they are purposely put into danger by Palestinian terrorist groups, who intentionally embed their fighters in densely-populated urban areas, seeing Palestinian deaths as a worthwhile public relations win and turning them into de facto human shields.

As Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and potentially Hamas, gear up for what may be another violent period, it’s imperative that the news media properly contextualize the conflict not as yet another round of tit-for-tat violence between two sides, but as the ongoing attempt by fundamentalist Islamist groups to wreak murder and mayhem on Israel for ideological reasons and in pursuit of its genocidal goals.

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