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Israel needs calm, not action-movie operations

Israel's political and military establishments feel the need to "do something" to appease public opinion in the face of recent violence, but the situation calls for restraint, not excessive actions like the undercover operation at a Hebron hospital.

The Israeli media was, generally speaking, greatly impressed by the Nov. 12 plainclothes​ operation by an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) unit of soldiers disguised as Palestinians at the Al-Ahli hospital in Hebron. Their coverage lauded the operation, highlighted by images from hospital security cameras. “Reality triumphs imagination,” wrote Walla!, while Channel 2 proclaimed, “Coming full circle in a dramatic raid on a hospital.”

The operation in Hebron was developed and implemented to apprehend Azzam Shalaldeh, who on Oct. 25 carried out a stabbing attack in the Etzion settlement bloc, moderately wounding Yisrael Ben Aharon. Despite his injury, the victim was able to fire shots at his assailant, wounding him in the foot before he was able to flee the scene and seek care at Al-Ahli hospital.

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