Dr. 'Adnan Abu 'Amer, a Palestinian journalist and Gazan university lecturer, recently devoted his regular column on Aljazirah.net to the November 18, 2014 attack on the Jerusalem synagogue and to other recent attacks in Jerusalem and the West Bank. Abu 'Amer praised the "creativity" of the Palestinian attackers who, he said, have begun using simple weapons like knives and stones that are readily available everywhere. Such weapons, he added, are particularly effective because they can be used by a lone attacker, and the Israeli security apparatuses are unable to stop this attacker before he strikes. According to Abu 'Amer, the rise in stabbing attacks attests to a growing spirit of self-sacrifice in Palestinian society.
Below are translated excerpts from his article:
Dr. 'Adnan Abu 'Amer (image: Aljazeera.net)
Recent Operations Show That Anyone Can Carry Out Resistance Using Primitive Weapons
"The recent Fidai operations carried out by young Palestinians in the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem against the Israeli army and settlers reveal that the Palestinian people have armed themselves with the will to wage resistance against the occupier, and no longer accept the wretched and bleak situation [that currently exists]. These operations show that we have reached the point of no return, [where it is impossible to go back] to the former status quo that included repeated incursions to the Haram [i.e. the Al-Aqsa compound] and repeated attacks on the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
"...The fact that the people of the West Bank and Jerusalem have joined the battlefield of resistance in recent weeks improves and renews the popular primitive weapons, making them more effective than before. In recent operations, the fighters utilized many diverse types of weaponry of increasing sophistication - from stones and slings, through knives and other sharp weapons, to firearms. This qualitative improvement of the resistance tools used in the struggle against the occupier allows every member of the [Palestinian] people to wage resistance with these primitive weapons. And so one person erects a barrier and a second burns a tire, a third makes a fire bomb, a fourth digs a trench, a fifth scatters nails on the road, a sixth stabs a settler and a seventh runs over a soldier. Palestine has become a popular workshop where everyone plays a role.
Primitive Weapons Are Effective And Highlight The Contrast With The Advanced Israeli Weapons
"A review of the recent resistance [operations] carried out in the Palestinian territories, and of the diverse weapons used, reveals which were the most important weapons - both primitive weapons and firearms, as detailed below:
1. The stone: used to erect barriers, block traffic arteries and build hideouts and barricades, [including for] ambushes. Even if a stone, in terms of its physical impact, does not evoke a mental image of a heroic battle, it has powerful symbolic significance, because it highlights the contrast between [the Palestinian's simple weapons] and the advanced weaponry of an enemy that possesses an atomic bomb.
2. The slingshot:... Palestinians use the slingshot in sniping operations against the occupation forces and the settlers and their various means of transport. Its importance lies in the fact that a shooter can use it while remaining unseen, which complicates things for the occupation forces. Although [this weapon] rarely causes lethal damage, it is capable of causing severe injury if used at close range and if the stone is hefty and the shooter strong.
3. Arson and burning tires: Last summer the Israelis experienced a 'hot season' whose flames reached the very heart of Israel. Dozens of fires broke out in the forests and woods and set thousands of hectares ablaze. [These fires] constituted an additional surprise for the Israeli security apparatuses, which recently began awakening, now and again, to a new surprise by the resistance.
4. Barricades and obstacles: this tool was used by the resistance to block the entrances and streets in the cities, villages and refugee camps to occupation army vehicles, and this helped the youths divide the attacks on the Israeli forces [between them], and even more so to retreat at the right moment and guarantee that the occupation's military vehicles and armored cars could not pursue themÔÇª"
The Importance Of Stabbings: The Knife Is A Household Item; Even Israeli Arabs Can Take Part In Such Resistance
"Knives were the weapons most frequently used in the recent [operations] by the popular resistance in the West Bank and Jerusalem. The latest stabbing, at the [Jerusalem] synagogue, led to five Israelis killed and eight wounded. Stabbing operations are important because this sharp weapon is a found in every household and its use has very significant impact - not only in terms of its lethal potential but due to the psychological effect on the Israelis, who see and grasp that a soldier can be killed with a knife [even] while weilding a sophisticated automatic rifle.
"The most important thing is that the [stabbing actions] forced the occupation to open up a new front that [can] always blow up in its face. For the knife attacks compromised its deterrent capability and harmed the morale of its public, to the point that [Israeli] army officers admitted that they had effectively lost their ability to deter [the Palestinians]ÔÇª The waves of knife attacks in the West Bank and Jerusalem and within the Green Line, against both the occupation soldiers and the settlers, provoked an interest in researching the most important characteristics this novel mode of resistance, the most prominent of which are:
A. [The stabbings] erupted following the decline in popular mass-protest actions, which gave rise to the notion of transitioning to a stage of qualitative and unique activity, the war of knives being one of the resources and tools of this [stage].
B. The idea of persevering in constant resistance activity, and giving the [Palestinians] within the Green Line a chance to adjust themselves to the resistance and its activities, served as a catalyst for escalating this type of [knife] war against the occupation, because it doesn't require many people [but] focuses on small groups. In fact, many of the stabbing actions were performed by a lone resistance fighter.
C. The phenomenon spread throughout the occupied territories and [even] reached the areas within the 1948 [borders], the heartland of the occupation state, provoking its fears that the knife war will spread to its entire territory. The stabbing operations focus primarily on soldiers armed to the teeth - both regular army soldiers and reservists, as well as Border Police personnel and settlers.
D. The stabbing actions are evidence of the growing spirit of sacrifice and martyrdom within Palestinian society. [The fact that] operations resulted in the attackers being killed or sentenced to life did not deter other resistance fighters from following the same path and carrying out the same operations.
"Israel's response reflected its great fear that these knife stabbing operations would increase, and it has admitted the growing burden on its security apparatuses and the difficulty in combating this kind of phenomenon. It turns out to be one of the security apparatuses' most difficult and complicated tasks. One result of the [knife war] is that arms stores in Israel filled with people who came to purchase personal arms for self-defense after the recent stabbing incidents repeated themselves.
"In this context, officers in Israel's Central Command said that they have no magic solution to stop the Palestinian stabbing operations, because it is hard to prevent them from obtaining knives. Furthermore, the increasing [stabbing operations] mean that Israel's power of deterrence is declining daily. The paradox is that Israel is capable of manufacturing the state-of-the-art Arrow antimissile-missile, but is incapable of protecting its citizens from knife attacks.
"Resistance fighters also used cars and cabs to run over the occupation soldiers and settlers while they were carrying out foot patrols in the cities and refugee camps. And indeed several [vehicular] attacks were successful and killed or wounded several soldiers..."
 Aljazeera.net, November 19, 2014.