Shattered calm close to an Israeli home

December 18, 2011 - 8:37 AM by

The entrance to Ma'aleh Adumim usually looks like this.

To get into our city of Ma’aleh Adumim, you have to pass a compact roadblock usually manned by two people. It consists of a mobile barrier that drivers need to slalom around, slowing down enough for the guards to get a good glance at you.

It’s generally a boring place, despite the thousands of cars that pass daily, and the hundreds of construction workers – mostly from the neighboring Palestinian village of Azariyah – who on foot pass through the barrier on the way to their day jobs.

So, it was surprising to find out on Saturday night, after Shabbat came to an end, that a guard at the entrance had been lightly injured in a stabbing attack that morning.

According to The Jerusalem Post report, “a suspected Palestinian terrorist launched a knife attack against a security guard at the entrance to the Ma’ale Adumim settlement near Jerusalem on Saturday. The municipal guard was lightly injured in the assault. He was evacuated to hospital for treatment. Police and IDF forces were searching the area for the suspect.”

It took place on a beautifully sunny, mild winter’s day, less than a quarter-mile from my house, unbeknownst to the families in the neighborhood enjoying the day with their families.

An odd thing about the incident – generally Palestinians aren’t coming into Ma’aleh Adumim on Shabbat, since there’s no building or repair work going on. So either the perpetrator made a special trip to attack, or he had another reason to be coming to the city.

Either way, whether the attack was the result of cumulative anger, hate and frustration at Israeli ‘occupiers, or he had a personal vendetta about a work issue that left him humiliated or enraged, or whether he was mentally unstable and the guard was a natural target, the ‘business-as-usual’ feeling that passes for reality in the West Bank is a tenuous one that can be broken at any time with ease of a knife’s steel blade passing in the wind.

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