Israeli Security Officials Eyeing Hebron After Tel Aviv, Gush Etzion Attacks
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held an emergency security meeting on Thursday with top defense officials from the IDF, police and Shin Bet Intelligence Agency, in light of two separate terrorist attacks that killed five people.
According to a press release, the security officials discussed taking “action in the Hebron area,” a cluster of villages around the eponymous city which many of the perpetrators of recent terrorist attacks against Israel call home.
Netanyahu also wrote on his Facebook page Thursday evening, “We have been struggling with terrorism for a century already, and the struggle against terrorism will continue with determination: control on the ground, continued arrests and undercover work, massive reinforcements, incursion into villages and deep into neighborhoods, destroying terrorists’ homes and eradicating terrorist infrastructure.”
The Israeli premier drew a comparison between Thursday’s Palestinian stabbing attack in Tel Aviv, which killed two Israelis, and shooting in Gush Etzion, which killed two Israelis and one US student, and the recent ISIS attacks in Paris.
“Behind these terrorist attacks stands radical Islam,” said Netanyahu, “which seeks to destroy us, the same radical Islam that struck in Paris and threatens all of Europe. Whoever condemned the attacks in France needs to condemn the attacks in Israel. It’s the same terror. Whoever does not do this is a hypocrite and blind.”
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon called the current battle against Palestinian terrorism “complex,” but said Israel was engaging it with a “variety of tools to fight against these murderers and whoever is inciting and arming them.”
And Israel’s president, Reuven Rivlin, also compared the Tel Aviv and Gush Etzion attacks to the Paris assaults and the recent downing of a passenger jet over Egypt that killed everybody on board.
“Our hearts are pained and broken,” he said. “The pain is the same pain. The mourning is the same mourning in Tel Aviv, in Paris, in the Etzion Bloc, and in the Sinai. The pornography of death is striking across the world.Fundamentalist Islamism is a danger to all free nations everywhere, and we must fight against it unequivocally. My thoughts are with the bereaved families and the injured at this terrible time.”
World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder meanwhile urged Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas — who has been very slow to deplore the surge in violence against Israelis — to condemn the latest attacks.
“Acts of terror against Israeli Jews have become an almost daily news story,” Lauder said in a statement. “As in Paris, the world must show that it will not tolerate such violence and hatred. I urge Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to curb the incitement and clearly condemn this terror.”