On the eve of Passover, there have been ominous signs that terror attacks on Israel could be increasing, and becoming more sophisticated again — beyond the “lone attacker” types that have resulted in 30 deaths and kept Israelis on edge for more than six months. (See story on page 36.)
The news this week that Israel had discovered a new Hamas tunnel from Gaza into Israel proper confirms that the terror group has not been swayed by the 2014 war, despite the many casualties and physical destruction its citizens suffered. This was the first such tunnel found since the war, though Hamas leaders said it “is only a drop in the ocean of resistance preparations” planned by the group pledged to destroy the Jewish state.
Then on Monday a bomb ripped through a bus in Jerusalem, signaling that the terror campaign has escalated, likely involving organized groups rather than individuals.
While Prime Minister Netanyahu pledged to “settle accounts with those terrorists,” the message from the administration in Washington was troubling. There were expressions of concern for the victims and their families, but Vice President Biden, addressing a J Street conference in Washington, spoke bluntly of “overwhelming frustration” with the government in Jerusalem, which he described as moving in “the wrong direction” on the peace front. He criticized the Palestinian leadership as well, but the onus was on Netanyahu.
“Overwhelming frustration” surely applies as well to Israelis who see their crucial ally calling out their government even as the Palestinian Authority encourages, condones or praises acts of terror.