by Yaniv Reich
You possess the world’s fourth most powerful military according to your own estimates, yet find yourself delegitimized in the international arena, unable to impose control over either your perceived enemies, or your internal settler-anarchist “brothers”. You are desperately arresting nonviolent leaders that resist your military occupation while also fearing for the travel plans of your leaders implicated in war crimes. It would seem current events are spiraling out of your grasp. How do you reverse this worrying order of events?
A hint was provided Saturday morning when a joint Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Shin Bet raid killed three alleged members of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, one of two groups that claimed responsibility for the recent murder of a settler near Nablus in the occupied West Bank. According to the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, two of the three shooting deaths by the IDF were carried out like executions, and eyewitness testimony alleges the two victims were executed from close range once identified, despite putting up no resistance. A senior IDF official lent support to these testimonies when he told Israel Radio that the militants had not fired on the IDF troops and that two of the dead were known to have been unarmed at the time. However, he explained that they were assassinated because they were believed to be responsible for the settler’s death. In response B’Tselem called for an army investigation into the allegations of extrajudicial execution.