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There’s no such thing as a lone-wolf terrorist

The attackers may choose their own targets and carry out attacks by themselves, but they all drink from the same poisonous well.

The graves of Shay Silas Nigreke and his son Aviad Nir, who were murdered in Huwara on Saturday, Aug/ 20, 2023. Photo by Flash90.
The graves of Shay Silas Nigreke and his son Aviad Nir, who were murdered in Huwara on Saturday, Aug/ 20, 2023. Photo by Flash90.
Nadav Shragai
Nadav Shragai
Nadav Shragai is a veteran Israeli journalist.

Once again, we fell into the trap: Even before the bodies of the dead from Saturday’s terrorist attack in Huwara were laid to rest, it had already been described as a “lone-wolf” incident.

This definition is misleading, because such attacks are not created out of thin air. The prevailing sentiment from which would-be attackers get their inspiration is the result of a multi-year Palestinian campaign to glorify terrorists and make Jews legitimate targets, regardless of where they are.

Terrorists like the one who murdered Shay Silas Nigrekar, 60, and his 28-year-old son Aviad Nir in Huwara are no lone wolves—they belong to a pack. Such people may choose their own targets and carry out their attacks without material assistance, but they all drink from the same poisonous well that makes the killing of Jews kosher, be it because “al-Aqsa Mosque is being desecrated” or just in the name of Islam or the Palestinian cause. The incitement and hatred have no organizational affiliation, and are the common denominator in practically all “lone-wolf” attacks.

The Palestinian street is drunk—but not with wine. It is high on wild incitement that has turned it into a hotbed for terrorists. The inciters—whether on radio or on television, the print media or social networks— should face the same punishment as those who actually carry out the attacks. They and their ilk share indirect responsibility for creating the “atmosphere” that makes such attacks possible.

The Palestinian Authority, for its own reasons, may be assisting Israel in capturing dozens of killers, but has not lifted a finger to stop the worship of death and “martyrdom.” It has not stopped the explicit incitement to kill Jews for being Jews. It has allowed the continuation of terrorist glorification; it continues paying families of terrorists and memorializing them upon their death. Perceptually, it has been breeding terrorists and helping them grow.

This is a new version of the revolving door from the days of Yasser Arafat, but instead of terrorists entering prison only to quickly be released, now, the P.A. is ensuring that terrorist hotbeds produce attackers at a much quicker rate than they can be killed or arrested.

Just last week, the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center published a study showing that in the Palestinian textbooks issued by the P.A., Israel doesn’t even exist. The study noted that the Palestinian prime minister recently took part in a ceremony honoring parents of “martyrs” killed during the past year, vowing that the P.A. would not bow to pressure by altering its subject matter, regardless of whether donor countries turn off the funding spigot.

The ceremony even featured a picture of “lone-wolf terrorist” Ramzi Fathi Hamed. And if this is how the P.A. treats “lone wolf” terrorists, there’s no need to elaborate on how Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad view them.

We must stop falling into this trap.

Originally published by Israel Hayom.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.

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