Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon. Photo: Reuven Kapuscinski.
Days after a shooting attack last week that left one civilian dead and three others injured, Israel’s Binyamin Regional Council erected a waiting station and guard post at the local Gideon junction, the site of the attack.
The Council said it is determined to act to protect the area’s residents after its numerous requests for increased security at the junction – a popular hitchhiking spot – have gone unanswered by the government.
“The terrorists’ aim is to harm the routine of our lives and our existence as a nation in our homeland. They will not succeed,” the Binyamin Regional Council said in a statement to Tazpit News Agency.
The body also added that they intend to “strengthen and settle throughout the entire land [of Israel].”
“We call on the government of Israel and Defense Minister [Moshe Ya’alon] to act firmly to ensure the security of the people, and to stop their feeble attitude toward these threats, exemplified by the loosening of restrictions [on Palestinians], with bitter and clear results.”
The statement referred to a recent government decision to loosen restrictions on Palestinian movement in Israel, including the granting of entry permits for Palestinian vehicles and allowing Palestinians to travel directly from their homes in Israeli-controlled territory to Jerusalem, in order to participate in Ramadan festivities.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon announced on Tuesday that the government is already taking steps to bolster security in the area.
“Following the attacks, troop presence has been increased in Judea and Samaria to inhibit the movements of the perpetrators,” Ya’alon said in a statement to the press. “We have also been forced to cancel the loosening of certain restrictions and to take cautionary measures,” he said.
A crowd of approximately 400 local residents demonstrated on Tuesday evening at the site of the shooting attack, demanding that the government step up its efforts to establish security. Another demonstration took place on Wednesday evening.