JERUSALEM, Israel – Israel is continuing its crackdown on two Palestinian villages a day after an apparent lone-wolf terrorist murdered three Israeli security personnel near Jerusalem. But what motivated him to carry out the attack while entering the place where he worked?
Nimr al-Jamal was on his way from Beit Souric where he lived to the neighboring Jewish community of Har Adar when he opened fire on security personnel, killing three and critically wounding a fourth.
Har Adar residents were shocked.
"They have all the rights like the Israelis and they betrayed big time," Har Adar Council member Anat Knafo told CBN News.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blames Palestinian incitement in the media, school books and society.
Following the attack, Netanyahu called on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to condemn it. Instead, Abbas' Fatah organization glorified the terrorist and said the morning was "scented with the fragrance of the martyrs."
Palestinian Media Watch director Itamar Marcus says the blame doesn't stop there.
"[The] Palestinian Authority, through Fatah, is telling its people that what was done was a religiously positive act," Marcus told CBN News. "Killing Israelis is a religiously positive act and this of course is the worst message you can give in a religious society like the Palestinian Authority."
Marcus says potential terrorists are well aware of the honor bestowed on the terrorist's family.
"The first thing that happens is the family receives honor, and this is critical," he explained. "The honor the family receives, every potential terrorist sees it as well."
That "honor" includes public praise and sometimes even naming schools, town squares and sporting events after terrorists.
"And the second thing that happens is financial rewards. In this case, the wife and children of the terrorist who murdered yesterday will be receiving 2,600 shekels – about $800 a month for life," he said.
A statement from Israel's security apparatus indicated that the terrorist was a troubled individual, but Marcus said that's no excuse.
"It's not the troubled terrorist who committed terror because he was troubled. He was troubled and then he heard the messages and he was more receptive because he was troubled," Marcus said. "In any case the full responsibility is of the Palestinian Authority and the Fatah, who are giving these messages, who are rewarding terror, who are honoring terror, who are telling them that Israelis deserve the terror."
Marcus says Israel could crack down on entire villages, revoking work permits into Israel. That would increase peer pressure not to carry out attacks. But the West could also play a role, he said.
"The only way this will stop is if the leadership of the Palestinian Authority is forced by the international community to completely change the messaging," he said. "The international community can force them. The Palestinian Authority is so dependent on foreign aid. The United States gives them foreign aid. The European Union gives them foreign aid – most of the Western European countries. They have the power to stop this."
Meanwhile, the three men who were killed, including an Israeli Arab, are being hailed as the real heroes. They stopped the terrorist from entering Har Adar and killing civilians.