Over 120 residents of Samaria’s Neve Tzuf community celebrated the last night of Chanukah by lighting candles at the eastern entrance of the town. The act of defiance followed a terror attack that occurred two nights prior, on December 13, when shots were fired from a passing car at a sixteen-year-old girl who was standing at that very entrance. Bullets hit the community’s gate, as well as a water bottle that the girl was carrying in a bag. Luckily, she managed to escape uninjured.
During the candle lighting ceremony, which was held in protest of the deteriorating security situation in the face of an uptick in terror attacks, the nearby road was blocked for about a half an hour. A large police force arrived at the scene, but no confrontations were recorded and no arrests were made.
Neve Tsuf’s community secretariat told Tazpit News Agency: “We call on the IDF to restore security to the area. We will be glad if the peace here is restored by the army, but if not, we ourselves will be forced to re-establish the security to our residents, reinstating the deterrence of terrorism as we have experienced in the past.”
Simultaneously, some 50 residents of the Talmonim block in the Benyamin region lit candles at the Dolev Junction, also in protest of the lapsing security in the area. Security forces blocked the road until the protesters dispersed.
A security official told Tazpit News Agency that during the past year, particularly during and after Israel’s recent Operation Pillar of Defense, there has been a sharp escalation in terrorist activity in Judea and Samaria.
The GSS (General Security Service) reports a recent increase in violence in the Jerusalem area, as well as in Judea and Samaria, compared to a comparatively quiet October, in which there were 39 attacks.
During November, the GSS reports that there were 122 terror attacks in Judea and Samaria, with 98 of those attacks occurring during Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense aimed at halting rocket fire emanating from Gaza. In Jerusalem, 44 attacks were recorded, with 27 occurring during Operation Pillar of Defense. A majority of the attacks, 156 of the 166, involved Palestinians throwing Molotov cocktails.