Why does a Palestinian teen stab Israelis?
Ahmad Gharabli (AFP/File)
What motivates a Palestinian teenager to take a knife and stab an Israeli, knowing full well that he might end up shot to death by soldiers?
The military coordinator of Israeli government activity in the territories went looking for an answer.
According to a report Wednesday on Israel Army Radio, the attempt to profile the terrorists and their motives contradicts conventional wisdom and persistent official claims on the subject that have been made over and over since the current wave of attacks started last fall.
The study by the Coordinator of Government Activity in the Territories (COGAT) found that "those terrorists are motivated less by the contents on social media and by religion, and more by personal-family reasons," according to the Army Radio report.
Among the reasons for the so-called "lone wolf stabbings", the study listed domestic violence and feelings of alienation, revenge for the killing of a friend or relative and refusal to recognize established institutions, such as Hamas and Fatah.
These young men, according to the findings, have said under questioning that they have only ever met Israelis at army roadblocks, and they only mention in passing any influence by Islam and by alleged Israeli violation of the sacred Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.
Army Radio also cited the study as finding that most of the teens are from average families and they attend school. Most don't know anything about Israel and their motivations are "superficial and headline grabbing."
"This is a new phenomenon, a generation that is not committed to anyone… and their motivation is social-secular or personal," the report said.
Israeli politicians, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, consistently blame officially sanctioned incitement in Palestinian media and textbooks for generating the attacks.
"This is the easy way, to blame Hamas and [Palestinian Authority Chiarman] Abu Mazen," Jerusalem lawyer and activist Ziad Abu Ziad told Army Radio in response to the report. "Now you are beginning to understand that it's the result of the existing situation… of people having a problem with the occupation and with Israelis."
You need to be logged in in order to post comments. Sign up or log in
"The military coordinator of Israeli government activity in the territories went looking for an answer."? So the man charged with enforcing the military occupation of Palestinian land can't think why .... are you serious?
Given that Palestinian deaths at the hands of Jews far, far outweigh Jewish deaths your postings give an indication of the vast numbers of occupied people murdered by Israel, James.
"Israeli cars bear yellow license plates; PA cars bear white plates." Ah, labelling ...... always thought Jews were bitterly against such moves.