Terrorism Losing It's Fear Effect - A Long War for Which Israel Will Win

INA On The Scene

Israelis Losing Fear of Terrorists
An Islamic terrorist's body lays on the sidewalk split in two (r) after having detonated a suicide body bomb attached to his waist. The scene is becoming routine to many Israelis with the effect becoming no different than a fatal traffic accident. Photo: AP

Jerusalem----June 11......An Islamic terror suicide bomber casually walked into a small Herzlia falafel restaurant, asked for a glass of water and then detonated a charge killing a 15 year-old girl and wounding nine others.

The blast took place just after rush hour, as the streets were moderately filled with shoppers and businessmen heading home.
The terrorist's target was the Jamil's shwarma grill on Sokolov Street. A small, modest restaurant situated on the ground floor of a two story residential building. The restaurant is directly adjacent to the Herzlia City Hall and about 500 meters from the Central Bus Station.

The INA arrived at the scene of the terrorist attack about 5 minutes after the explosion.
This editor was on a bus coming into Herzlia from Tel Aviv.
The bus slowed down and headed for the curb as we heard an ambulance with it's siren screaming approaching us from behind. After the bus let the ambulance pass and we all heard a second siren - that's when many of us knew that a terrorist attack had just taken place.

A few soldiers and myself rushed off the bus and ran over to where 3-4 police cars and a fire engine had already arrived - about 200 meters from the bus.One must truly commend the police, fire and medical emergency services for getting there so quickly, seconds that literally saved the survivors of this barbaric assault on civilians who were eating sandwiches and drinking coffee.

This was the very heart of Herzlia, a middle-upper class neighborhood just north of Tel Aviv. Many reporters have erred in reporting that this was a resort town, of which it's not, that it was a very wealthy area - home to foreign ambassadors, which it's not. The city adjacent to Herzlia, sitting on the coast, is Herzlia Pituach for which much of the media were confused with.
These were old 2 and 3 story tan and grey buildings whose street level was filled with clothing, newspaper and drug stores and the second and third floors are residential apartments.
You could see that the windows were blown out of the restaurant, electricity had been cut and debris was spilled all over the street in front of this falafel stand.
No smoke or fire - just medical crews running out with people on stretchers.

Yael German - the mayor of Herzlia immediately coordinated several interviews with the wire services and foreign press in describing the carnage to get out the message that innocent people, children had just been attacked.

Police were very concerned about secondary explosions and in fact had found explosives on the suicide bomber's body which had not detonated. All emergency personnel immediately evacuated the restaurant as they defused the remaining bombs.

At one point I was standing about ten feet from the suicide bombers body which had been sitting face up shredded in half - you could easily see blood pouring out onto the sidewalk with his intestines and stomach hanging out. He was partially draped in a black body bag. What was striking was that from the mid chest up to his head not a scratch. He had a well trimmed beard - 30 ish looking - large build with sort of a satisfied and proud look on his face.

But what was even more striking was that there was absolutely no panic, no fear in the eyes of both the emergency workers and the people of Herzlia. The emergency workers had in fact set up a communications tent right in the middle of the street within fifteen minutes of the attack. Police and soldiers were surveying the crowd looking for additional terrorists, Islamic madmen who thought they might penetrate a very tight perimeter to attack rescue workers. Even the Mayor had a difficult time to enter this crime area.

I don't believe that any other society could be as prepared nor conditioned for terrorist attacks as we are here in Israel.
It was almost as if we were at the scene of a car accident. And because of this - and the total lack of fear - one could secure a sense that the terrorists whose aim is to create fear and immobilize us - was not succeeding.
That both from a military and emotional perspective that we are actually beginning to win this war against terrorism. It will be long war - but we are not packing our bags, running down the streets in fright or even blinking!

Once the Palestinian terrorists realize this - they can then commit suicide in their own homes if they are in such a rush to meet "72 virgins in paradise".
It is not the Israeli tank or the F-16 combat jet, but rather the words "never again" that has become our most powerful weapon.