More and more suspected Palestinian terrorists are turning themselves in to
security forces, a senior army officer told Maariv. Some 30 Palestinians wanted
by Israel have recently surrendered to the army, the officer said.
Several of the wanted men negotiated through intermediaries before
surrendering to the IDF. The men, realizing that the army was closing in on
them and it was only a matter of time before they would be captured or killed,
asked for assurances that their families’ homes not be demolished, Maariv
reported. Others surrendered unconditionally.
The growing number of terrorists who choose to surrender is due to the feeling
among the Palestinians that the Israeli army will eventually capture all the men
on its wanted list, and was continuing to root out the terrorists according to “a
work schedule of priorities,” the unnamed officer said.
Recently there have a number of incidents where Palestinians have turned in
family members planning terror attacks.
The senior officer said that Israel’s policy of destroying the homes of
terrorists’ families and the possible deportation of family members from the
West Bank to the Gaza Strip were the chief factors in the changing attitudes
“There are still serious terror warnings,” the officer said, “but for the
first time there are more explosive belts than suicide bombers.”
In the past month, the Israeli army has razed more than two dozen homes of
Palestinian terror suspects. Early Monday morning, security forces destroyed
the Tulkarm home of Fatah activist Mantsur Sharim, reportedly responsible for a
number of deadly terror attacks including the shooting attack at a Hadera
banquet hall on January 17 in which six people were killed and 26 wounded.
Internal Security Minister Uzi Landau said he would ask for authorization to
destroy the homes of the two Israeli Arabs from the Galilee village of Ba’ana
suspected of involvement in planning the Meron Junction suicide bombing. The
defense establishment is also reportedly preparing its case for the demolition of
homes of members of the east Jerusalem Hamas cell, suspected of murdering
35 people in a series of terror attacks.
A panel of nine High Court justices is expected to hand down its decision soon
after yesterday hearing the petition of three Palestinians against their possible
deportation to the Gaza Strip because they are relatives of terrorists and
allegedly assisted them in their activities.
“We believe the deterrent factor is legitimate,” said Attorney Shai Nitzan, head
of security matters in the State Attorney’s Office. “There is no question that
the deterrent factor has been accepted as legitimate in some matters, such as
house demolitions. The army carries out other deterrent measures such as
bombing empty Palestinian security buildings.”