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Israel Arrest Suicide Bomber's Families


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Israel Arrests Attackers' Relatives

Fri Jul 19, 9:23 AM ET

By MARK LAVIE, Associated Press Writer

JERUSALEM (AP) - Israeli soldiers arrested 16 relatives of two Palestinians suspected in bloody terror attacks this week, and in what would be a new policy, officials Friday were considering expelling some of the men to the Gaza Strip ( news - web sites).

Israel Radio said expulsion of the fathers and brothers reflect new harsh measures the Israeli government is considering to deter potential attackers. Israeli soldiers also destroyed the family homes of the two suspected Palestinian militants.

In a statement, the militant group Hamas threatened to launch "unique martyrdom operations," if the deportations are carried out, a reference to suicide attacks.

The two attacks, a bus ambush in the West Bank and a double suicide bombing in Tel Aviv, were the first fatal strikes against Israeli civilians since Israeli forces moved into seven of the eight main Palestinian towns and cities in the West Bank on June 20, after back-to-back suicide bombings in Jerusalem.

A woman injured in the bus ambush near an Israeli settlement in the West Bank on Tuesday, Yocheved Ben-Hanan, 21, died in Tel Aviv hospital Thursday, police said, bringing the death toll to nine. Three bystanders, including two foreign workers, were killed in the double suicide bombing in Tel Aviv on Wednesday.

A new group affiliated with Yasser Arafat ( news - web sites)'s Fatah ( news - web sites) movement called Al-Nazir, "the warning" in Arabic, claimed responsibility for the Tel Aviv bombing, identifying the bombers as Mohammed Attala, 18, and Ibrahim Najie, 19, from the Balata refugee camp, next to Nablus.

Abdel Nasser Najie, a relative, said Ibrahim Najie "used to work in Israel and knew Israel very well." He said Najie left for Israel several days ago, and the family lost contact with him. He said if relatives had known he was going to carry out a suicide attack, "we would have stopped him."

Overnight, Israeli forces moved into the Askar refugee camp and the nearby village of Tel, near Nablus, the military and residents said.

In Tel, soldiers destroyed the house of Nasser Aseida, 26, a leader of the Hamas military wing who was suspected of organizing the bus ambush. Soldiers arrested his father and four brothers, and detained relatives of two other wanted Hamas leaders, who are in hiding, like Aseida.

In a similar operation in the Askar refugee camp, soldiers destroyed the house of a leader of the Fatah-linked Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades militia, Ali Ajouri, 23, badly damaging several nearby houses, residents said. Soldiers arrested Ajouri's father and two brothers, they said. Ajouri was not captured.

Altogether, the Israelis detained 16 men, Palestinians said. In a statement, the military said the operation was "part of the war against the terrorist infrastructure."

The Israel military has long destroyed the family homes of suicide bombers in an attempt to dissuade attackers. Expelling militants' relatives from the West Bank to Gaza would be a new step. The Gaza Strip, which has not been a source of suicide bombers in the past two years, is easier to seal off from Israel than the West Bank.

A senior Israeli official said the government was awaiting final recommendations from Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein — expected within a few days — on whether deporting the 16 men to Gaza was legal.

If Rubinstein approves and the Cabinet determines deportations would be an effective deterrent, the government would proceed, the official said on condition of anonymity.

Rubinstein made an initial recommendation that there were legal grounds for "selective deportation to Gaza" for those people "directly involved in supporting" the militants, the official added.

Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, a veteran peace campaigner who supports talks with the Palestinians, said he would support the new measures if they win legal approval.

Palestinian Cabinet Minister Saeb Erekat denounced the deportation idea as a war crime and violation of the fourth Geneva Convention, which governs the treatment of civilians in war zones.

"When nations in the year 2002 decide on collective punishment, and decide to deport (families) from one place to another, this is a war crime, and we will pursue it as such," he said.

Ranya Ajouri, a relative of Ali, said Israeli soldiers ordered the families out of the three-story house without giving them a chance to put on clothes or shoes. Told about the possibility that the men would be sent to Gaza, she said, "We have no relation to Ali's activities. Everyone should be responsible for his own behavior."

While the army did not say how many people were detained in connection with the attacks, it said it had arrested 16 militants in sweeps of other villages across the West Bank on Friday for alleged "terrorist activities."

Palestinian officials say they are powerless to assume control because Israeli forces have imposed curfews in the main areas, preventing Palestinian security from operating.

On Friday, the Israeli military said it was lifting curfews in the towns of Qalqiliya and Tulkarem "until further notice," and in Jenin and Hebron during the day Friday. The Israelis have said they would ease restrictions in the Palestinian towns they control if calm is maintained.

Questions about the effectiveness of Israel's reoccupation of West Bank population centers in stopping terror attacks have begun to emerge after the two attacks in Israel this week.


I complete agree with this policy but actually think they should execute the families of the suicide bombers and make that public. Perhaps that will reduce the # of volunteers for a suicide bombing if they know their family will be wiped out.

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Interestingly Israel has tried various measures to curttail these terrorist attacks. In the 80s and early 90s it was the 10 to 1 ratio that stated for every Israeli killed, 10 Palestinians would be killed. That didn't work. It was far too random.

What we are seeing of late with Middle East justice, is that when governments go after the families of those who are committing crimes, the criminals are rapidly captured because. It would be interesting to see what type of deterrent this policy or a more harsh one as Funky illustrates would work.

I tend to think that if a terrorist knew his actions would lead to the executions of his entire family, he might not be so hot to do what he's doing. That, to me, would certainly end these attacks in under a year. But, the pressure against that would be so great I doubt Israel could do it.

Hell, we could get Bin Laden, if he's alive, tomorrow, if we were to take his whole family and the women we know he cares about into custody. But, political pressures would prevent that from happening, much like such pressure would prevent Israel from executing family members of terrorists. At the very least you could arrest them and kill them for conspiracy charges, which you would be able to win, but, that is cumbersome and frought with difficulty.

This policy may or may not do the trick. I doubt it will, but, it certainly can not hurt to try. Such are the measures a nation is forced to take when it is constantly under unprovoked attack.

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Nukes have done interesting things to theories on what is acceptable in warfare.

Think about even the Palestinians suicide bombers killing civilians. We think that is horribly wrong. However, is this really much different from the total war philosiphies of WWII? Isn't the exile of families another means for Israel to win a total war? Don't get me wrong, I view a total war as hideous. Of course, I view the theory of total war as hideous because if two nuclear countries were ever to fight a war using total war rules again, there might not be much of an earth.

My question is can any army win when the opponents adhere to a total war philosiphy if the army is bound to a more feudal time strategy of striking only the military targets? Will any amount of firepower and technology overcome the ability to "fight dirty?"

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Because there is no one particular method used against Israelis or others who are also victims of these suicide bombings, it is very hard to pin down a strategy that is concrete. No the abduction of the families isn't a permanent solution, and I don't think the Israeli leadership think it is either, even though both Sharone and Rubenstien may agree on it's use. It is an answer without bloodshed to get into the heart of the matter and yes force those who think to do physical harm by way of bombing or otherwise, to rethink of the consequences of their actions.

I have felt that somewhere along the way the Palestinians should have made a galant effort among themselves to quel this activity, even if it meant their own lives, because, blowing up innocent people, will not make them fear you to give concessions, instead, it brings a backlash, so shaking, we have yet to see the very fruit from it.

In the the 1900's in Germany, a young man, failed as an art student so shaken by the critique, thought little of the instructor, because he couldn't get his way. His figures were lifeless, less appealing than a dead manikin. Ironically, he felt getting his mother to inflict some type of pschological harm to the instructor by way of influence, since he was gutless to speak up, would get him what he wanted. An acknowledgement that he was a good artist. The teacher didn't hold her breath. The kid was smarting for years and consequently developed his personality on deception, taking by way of influence to cause harm, directly, regardless of whom he hurt, just to get his way. It followed him to his first position of political influence, and there he developed his plans (more in depth, in detail to the very breath of a human breathing) of how his people should conduct themselves. He disdained the "others" as the root cause of his problems and directed his anger once again at only a pocket of incidents, thus steorotyping each one of them, as the whole.

Their race was attacked constantly, while he developed his bloody mess of things to come, to gather against them. He pursued them and others that dealt with them, as a dog after a prey. He used the excuse of only needing a little more each time, but leaving bloodshed, for every little inch given or taken. He justified it as compensation for the ills of the past and had the audacity to even link it at one point to religion. He then directed his thrust at the entire continent, with the same line. The little bit of additional land was compensation and that HIS people should be the only ones in that area.

His name was Adolf Hitler.

I just don't know which one of these men is the next, but the offspring of Arafat's movement is looking more like it, as the cause and effects are getting more outrageous and leaving Israel little room to find a good solution. Then when they are spanked, the cry immediately goes out to outside countries to intervene. This isn't a game, so killing people standing and riding at busstops means, you can expect measures to be taken against you. You are inviting harm to you and your family, by actively and aggressively seeking out people to harm, because of your internal frustrations. That is sick. So you don't like your neighbor in a land that once was yours. In America, the native American suffered the consequences from aggression and were even tricked out of the solutions they agreed to. This isn't the same thing. The native Americans didn't seek to destroy every innocent person they could find, just because they were friends or even allies of the white man. They knew already of the fire that consumes, when you strike innocent people and it is hell.

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The Palestinians, indeed the Arabs and the Muslims, have no one but themselves to blame for such tactics by the Israelis. They're the ones that have turned "martyrdom" into a social phenomenon that has teenage children, even children less than ten, dreaming of glory through their own deaths, whilst killing as many innocent non-Muslims as possible.

As we've seen in our country, one's beliefs begin and are fomented at home, as much as other outside influences can play a role. These families are complicit, if not in the legal meaning of the word then certainly on the moral meaning of the word.

What's interesting about this tactic, and emminently fair about it, is that it forces a tough decision upon Hamas and other groups that recruit would-be suicide bombers. A key recruitment technique has been the promised fame and glory that comes from martyrdom - broadcasting martyrdom messages videotaped just before the act; distribution of martyr's trading cards to children (no, I'm unfortunately not making that up); posters, signs, etc.

In addition, this forces suicide bombers to take into account, in addition to their own anticipated paradise in the afterlife, the misery that they're imposing upon their own family members.

Now, by broadcasting the identity of the bombers' those groups are pointing the Israeli's to their families for retribution. But if Hamas chooses to keep them anonymous, then they lose a key recruitment tool.

It's an interesting game that is being played right now.

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I can understand how this might be viewed as good strategic move by the Israelis. It very well may stop the bombings. As Art points out perhaps these bombers would think twice if all their family were to be killed by their actions.

Today I just watched "In the Name of the Father", I had seen it before but it was a while ago. For those that dont know about the movie it is about the wrongful conviction of suspected IRA bombers. Well not only did the British arrest the 4 suspected bombers they arrested 7 others who were connected to the bombers by family, including a 14 and 16 year old. One of the men arrested was the father of suspected ring leader. He died in prison before the rest of those convicted where released 15 years after their wrongful conviction. It just worries me that family members are going to be held responsible for something their relative did. Im not even talking about wrongful convictions because I would assume that if they find a dead suicide bomber they probably have the right guy. But who is to say his family should be held responsible? What if the family did everything they could to stop him? What if one of us has a child, brother, sister who commits a crime and we are held responsible for it as well?

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Keep in mind that this has less to do with retribution than it does with deterrence. The idea is that Hamas' martyr-recruitment efforts become so hamstrung, and the perceived repurcussions of suicide bombing are so great, that the activity effectively ceases as an effective tool of terrorism.

Whether it in fact works remains to be seen.

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Romo sits to pee,

One flaw in what you proposed about the family that did everything possible to stop the terrorist from killing innocent people in his attack. If they knew about it and didn't report it, they are guilty of conspiracy so punishment against them would be reasoned and reasonable.

For the family that knows nothing, but, takes money from Iraq or Saudi Arabia, you actually have a tougher position to take if you think the family revenge could end this because they you are really dealing with completely unaware people who are also needy. But, again, the question will remain as to how to end this. Could retribution either by death or even relocation (and I doubt the latter) end the cycle of violence that ultimately is provoked by one side, time and again?

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When i refered to a family doing everything to stop the potential terrorist in their family I did not consider them actually knowing when and where he would bomb. If the family did know about such details and failed to disclose them then yes they should be held accountable. I was considering a situation where a family knows their son is getting involved with a group known to be terrorists and they try to stop him but he does not listen. Eventually the family cuts ties with this individual. Should this family be held responsible? I would hope not.

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The Israelis current stand on terrorism is interesting given the fact that they used terror tactics quite effectively in the establishment of the state of Israel. Once they had attained a nation however, all of a sudden the use of terrorism by anyone else was a no-no.

If you don't believe me former Isreali Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir was quoted in an interview as saying "terrorism is a way of fighting that is acceptable under certain conditions." When asked what the difference between his activity as a guerilla and that of radical Palestinians, he answered that his cause was just while the Palestinian's is not.

Now, I don't believe that every Israeli thinks this way. However, successive Israeli governments have proven that they in fact do think this way. Witness the recent attack on a Hamas leader that killed 14 innocent civilians and wounded over a hundred more. No error, just an attack to take out a target that they knew full well would cause dozens if not hundreds of casualties. Of course, our govt. did what they always do. Slap slap on the wrist, bad Israel, but nothing substantive.

I don't for one second think that we should try to force some type of solution on the two parties. However, I don't think we should be sending billions of dollars every year to support this type of activity either.

BTW, if you doubt the veracity of the Shamir quote, please feel free to e-mail me at Yusuf06@earthlink.net and I'll forward a copy of the Washington Post article to you.

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Half truths and some outright falsehoods aren't beneficial to the debate. Israel has stated the information they had suggested civilian casualties in the Hamas attack would not be as high and have ordered an investigation into the event. I suspect that similar to what the U.S. found in Afghanistan recently where we hit the target we sought to hit after being fired on, that while tragic the loss of innocent life in a military attack, it is often a byproduct of such state actions.

However, the specific targeting of civilian populations is not something Israel is presently doing, or, even has done. Even the King David Hotel bombing has evidence that Begin and his group called the British three times to warn them to clear the building because an attack was coming. Not only did Begin say this, but, it was confirmed by British Parliment from testimony of an officer who did head the warning and left the building.

Again though, this attack was centered on a military target. Civilians die in such attacks and that is certainly not something to dimish, but rather, something to shake one's head at the necessity of war fighting against military targets. What the Palestinian people are doing is entirely different and the distinction is clear and without question to the contrary.

To be clear though, if we had evidence that Bin Laden was in the center of town with 1000 people around him, the U.S. would obliterate that area and say, "We got our man," while high fiving over the incredible military success. I suspect Israel is doing that now. What a big victory for Israel here. With hope, Hamas will have to regroup and there may be some small bit of peace due to the success of this mission.

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I keep coming back to the geneva convention.

Would the leader of a terrorist group be considered a military target?

I'd argue yes. The person who plans military style attacks is in fact a military target. If you accept that a top ranking Hamas leader is a military target, then according to the geneva convention, the fault for the deaths of the innocents should in fact be given to Hamas.

As I understand the geneva convention, the people at fault for innocents dying are the people who put military targets in close proximity to civilians. According ot the geneva convention those placing military targets are responcible for keeping htem out of civilian populations.

Now don't get me wrong, the geneva convention does say that the military in chosing to go after military targets that the opposition has placed in civilian centers should cause the least collateral damage possible while still making sure the military target is eliminated.

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I note you guys didnt read the White House press release yesterday that declared that Israel's recent attack on the Gaza strip was "heavy handed" and that the targeting of civilians was "deliberate". (per the Wash Times)

Is this a change on foreign policy? Or calling it like it is?

Both sides are playing dirty - nothing new here.

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If I was Israel I would have taken out the families and said it will happen to the families of the next bombers too.

Its time they stop worrying about how Europe views them when its obvious Europe would see them all executed if they can get a good price on oil.

Funny how when Jordan was created it wasnt called terrorism

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Terrorist have to learn that if they are gonna go fight one minute then run and hid behind their wives and children the next that the people around them become targets as well. It's just too bad that we still don't have the political will to do this. It's the only way to get through to those a$$holes.

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