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What's Really Behind the Rash of Palestinian Attacks


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JERUSALEM, Israel –  Over the past four months, Palestinian Arabs have killed 29 Israelis and wounded 300 others.  An anxious public is wondering what's behind these attacks.

Throughout this wave of terror, security camera footage has documented the way Palestinians have attacked Israelis.

Since September, they've carried out 120 stabbings, nearly 40 shootings and more than 20 car ramming attacks.

One way to protect people from the cars are concrete posts placed around bus stops.

Still, many Israelis wonder what's behind these indiscriminate attacks. One expert believes she knows what's behind the madness.

Anat Berko is a criminologist, a lieutenant colonel in the reserves and a member of Israel's Knesset. She spent years interviewing Palestinians, many of them women, who carried out terror attacks. While many blame what they call the "Israeli occupation," Berko says it's often much more personal.

"I found in many cases it was women who tried to escape from an imposed marriage or incest or problems inside her family or try to just escape from the house," Berko told CBN News. "Many of them – I interviewed many women." 
Berko says the Islamic promise of paradise often drives these attacks.

"It's to go to a place that is much better – jannah, which means paradise for them," she explained. "In paradise for the males, they'll have 72 virgins. For the girls, as they told me, 'I cannot have sex' so they are speaking about to be one of the virgins and if she was married, she'll meet her husband (there). If he was an abusive husband, he will go to gehenom, to hell, and she'll go to paradise."

Berko sees a common thread in the attacks in Israel and the recent ones in Paris, Philadelphia, and San Bernardino, California.

"There is a problem now that the West faces and they don't want to admit it – that there is something in this collective. I call in my book 'shahada mania.' Shahada is the obsession to carry out shahada, self-sacrifice, and mania is mania," she said.
Berko says in this battle, Israel and the West are on the same side.

"Israel is the good side in this equation. We are part of the West, we are the front line of the West," she said. "This is something that we need to stop and to know that in Paris, that in New York and in Tel Aviv and in Jerusalem, the same enemy, the same phenomenon. And it's not about Israel, it's about all of us." 

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