ISIS Terrorist Attack In Hadera Coincide With Diplomatic Visits

Two police offers were killed this week in the streets of Hadera, Israel in a terrorist attack. Claimed by the Islamic State, the attack was carried out as the United States Secretary of State and foreign ministers from the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco visited Israel for a summit. Opening fire on officers on the streets of Hadera with assault rifles, the act was condemned by both international and national officials.

Police spokesman Eli Levy stated that “Luckily, our officers managed to neutralize the assailants and prevent a bigger terrorist attack,” according to Reuters. A similar attack occurred just five days prior, when a terrorist proceeded to stab and ram a car into crowds in Beersheba, killing four Israelis. Palestinians have also suffered casualties, with nine individuals and many teenagers shot and killed by Israeli forces in recent weeks. Such attacks come at a time of importance, as many religious holidays are on the horizon: Easter, Passover and Ramadan, a time which Reuters states to be “volatile” in the past. Officials have recognized the precariousness of the time, with Jordan’s King Abdullah and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas scheduled to meet in an “attempt to clam tensions ahead of the holiday period”. 

As terrorist groups such as the Islamic State continue to inflict violence and expand their presence, understanding how and why terrorist groups operate are important to consider. Terrorism is centered around adherence and commitment to a specific ideology. Entry into terrorist activities not an acute, sudden and unforeseen step, but a process of gradual entry melded by a variety of societal and cultural factors.

As demonstrated by research from NAME White and Martha Crenshaw, repression and state violence is a statistical determinant of an organization’s pivot to adopting terrorist activity. These preconditions, Crenshaw argues are factors that set the stage for terrorism over the long run, and demonstrate the evolution of political grievances, and therefore fomentation of terrorist organizations in response to outside factors.

Disengagement from terrorist activity itself is also highly nuanced. Research states that re-engagement in terrorist activity is highest when the disengagement is individual and involuntary, and lowest when it is voluntary and collective, such as when an entire group disbands. Such research emphasizes the role of institutional factors and state actions that influence how and why groups such as the Islamic State or any other terrorist group continue to operate, and can provide more clarity on understanding, and preventing terrorist attacks in the future.