Ya'alon: Detaining Jews Without Trial Has Stopped Attacks on Palestinians

Israel's defense minister cites administrative detention of suspects in deadly attack on Dawabsheh family, and lack of involvement of Palestinian terror groups in recent incidents.

Ariel Hermoni / Defense Ministry

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said on Monday that since it was decided recently to detain without trial some suspects in the deadly July arson attack on the home of the Dawabsheh family in the West Bank – there have been no further attacks by Jews against Palestinians in the area.

A one-and-a-half year-old Palestinian infant was burned to death in the attack and three of his family members from the village of Duma were seriously wounded. His mother and father succumbed to their wounds - only his brother, Ali, survived. 

Speaking to military correspondents, Ya’alon said that once Israeli authorities were convinced they knew who was responsible for the attack, "We have taken draconian measures against the members of this organization."

He added: "We hope to put them on trial and to completely solve this crime, but the fact is we have not yet succeeded in staging a reenactment of the attack.”

Ya’alon explained that since the latest wave of Palestinian violence began, there have been no attacks on Israelis by Palestinian terror organizations – except for the murder of the Eitam and Naama Henkin on October 1, which was carried out by a Hamas cell.

“This is not an organizational operation, and that is why the attacks are mostly stabbings," he said. "The inability of the terror organizations to carry out serious attacks – shooting, including suicide [attacks] – is the result of our preventative actions."

Israeli security forces are facing a situation "in which there is difficulty in locating an individual who intends on carrying out an attack. However, [in some cases] we have succeeded in arresting individuals before the act,” he added.

The minister dated the outbreak of the current period of violence to September 11, when there were confrontations on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem's Old City with young Palestinians armed with explosives and rocks. The latest incidents are “viral,” and have been influenced in part by clips on the Internet from ISIS, too, Ya’alon told reporters.

He also reported that the Israel Defense Forces is preparing to call up four reserve battalions in early 2016, to free up the regular troops brought in to combat the wave of terror, for training.