How Israel Fights Islamist Terror

(New York Daily News) Adam Cohen - Destroying a radical Islamist enemy in cities and towns without killing innocent people is complicated. I know this because - as an officer in an Israel Defense Forces ground unit and a coordinator of close air support for soldiers - I was part of a military that embarked on a number of missions to execute precisely this task. In the interest of warning and preparing my American friends, I want to share what I learned from our previous campaigns against terrorist entities such as Hamas and Hizbullah. Combating such an enemy begins with intelligence. Today, you need drones in the air, tapped wires and undercover personnel on the ground to keep tabs on moment-by-moment movements. Intimate knowledge, acquired over decades, of the enemy's leadership hierarchy, language, culture and habits helps us go after killers and spare the lives of innocents. But ultimately, nothing can prepare a soldier for the new urban battlefield. I have been shot at by men in plainclothes and have seen a woman approach with a child on her hip, hands raised as though to surrender, only to reveal a grenade mere steps from my men. I have seen terrorists in plainclothes firing among kids in a playground and behind a school. Hamas deliberately fights among civilians with the certain knowledge that they will get killed or wounded. They know that this will help mobilize worldwide support. ISIS is likely to employ a similar strategy. The writer is a captain in the reserves of the Israel Defense Forces.

2015-12-25 00:00:00

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