Israeli soldiers detain a Palestinian boy during clashes in Hebron, West Bank, last week. Credit: REUTERS/Amer Al-Shloudi

It seems that when IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi sits down with his family for the holiday meal Monday evening, he will be able to do so with a great sense of satisfaction. Israel has fully restored its deterrence vis-à-vis the Palestinians in the West Bank.

Furthermore, not only was the fear dispelled that the prisoner escape would lift the Palestinians’ spirit and even embolden them to cause problems for their rulers – after all, the six fugitives were captured and returned to jail. And not only did the military under his command make it very clear that it is unwise for Israeli left-wing activists disguised as old people to try to bring water to Palestinians. On top of this, another tie-breaking act of consciousness has shown the Palestinians very clearly who’s the boss.

On Thursday the long arm of the Israel Defense Forces captured an 11-year-old Palestinian enemy who was making his way to a grocery store in Hebron. The arrest was the result of an operation that combined precise intelligence provided by the Shin Bet security service in real time, information from Israel Air Force drones and the daring of the ground forces that were deployed in the sector.

Together, these forces demonstrated their combat readiness, belying the assessment of Maj. Gen. (res.) Yitzhak Brik (Haaretz Hebrew, September 9), courageously and with determination engaging with the enemy, in keeping with the battle tradition their commanders bequeathed them.

The boy was arrested for being a Palestinian with ideas in his head. Had he not been arrested on his way to the grocery store, he probably would have grown up to be a prideful, defiant sort of character, who refuses to bow his head before his Jewish master.

Hence the need for a tactical, strategic, nationalist and Zionist operation to get him while he’s still young and deter him. So he won’t ever again walk to a grocery store in Hebron with his head held high. So he’ll always be dejected, humiliated. Images shared on social media Thursday show the enemy being arrested by four soldiers, armed and swathed in protective gear from head to toe, including helmets, proof of the lessons learned from the death of Barel Hadaria Shmueli at the Gaza border in August.

Four soldiers, each one twice the size of the 11-year-old Palestinian enemy. The desired ratio of forces. It sends a message: The soldiers’ hands are not tied. We are allowing them to prevail. And the good news: They won. The images clearly show that the 11-year-old boy is deterred. For 11 years he grew strong, unhindered: He ate, grew bigger, developed. It was a nonstop party, just like the life of the Palestinian security prisoners who are incarcerated in Israel. He went to school, played with friends. But the IDF, with God’s help, put an end to that party, and the enemy pissed his pants. A large, wet, smelly stain of urine spread on them. The stench of his fear-urine proves: The enemy has been deterred. The IDF dealt a fierce blow to the enemy.

One soldier wrapped his untied arm around the boy’s neck in a chokehold, as his three fellow soldiers made sure the boy did not resist. He was detained for three hours at the nearby military checkpoint before being released through the IDFs District Coordination and Liaison Office. This question must be asked: Why didn’t they put a bullet in his head? Why is he still alive? He’s the enemy, after all, and he must pay with his life. There is a reasoned response to this as well, taken from the field of psychological warfare. This too played a part in this daring, clever and inspiring operation, which to our joy is reminiscent of the 1976 raid on Entebbe.

On one hand, there was an urgent desire to show U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that the IDF will do whatever it wants with the military aid paid out of the taxes of her constituents. But in the end diplomatic considerations won out, and the 11-year-old enemy was released so that he could tell his friends and family how fearless Israel’s soldiers are – how resolute and determined. Happy Holiday to the state, which sits safely in the sukkah of peace that it has built.

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