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‘A terror wave of the kind we haven’t seen in a long time,’ says IDF general

Central Command chief pushes back against government criticism of the IDF

Maj.-Gen. Yehuda Fox speaks with the media, Aug. 21, 2023 (Photo: Screenshot)

Shortly after the terror attack near Hebron on Monday, in which an Israeli woman was killed and a man seriously injured, IDF Maj.-Gen. Yehuda Fox pushed back against a renewed wave of criticism coming from members of the government.

Fox, chief of the IDF Central Command, which is responsible for security in Judea and Samaria, told Ynet news on Monday that Israel is in the midst of “a wave of terror of the kind we haven’t seen in a long time.”

Fox emphasized that “the IDF and security forces operate every day in the villages, the town centers, and the refugee camps to thwart the terror. Most of the time, we are successful but today and last week, we are in a tough period and didn’t have success. We will hunt the enemies from Huwara, Hebron and every other place and will make them pay.”

Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad were responsible for the recent rise in terror attacks, Fox stressed in response to coalition members who blamed the Israeli military for not doing enough to prevent terror.

“Nobody limits us in activity or means. We thwarted many terrorist attacks in the past year, in the Hebron area as well as in northern Samaria,” Fox added.

Both areas of the West Bank have been hotspots of recent terrorist activity.

In response to the second deadly terror attack in three days, National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir requested that the next meeting of the government’s security cabinet, scheduled for Sept. 10, be brought forward to next Sunday.

Earlier, Ben Gvir had joined some of his coalition colleagues who criticized the security policy, calling it “too lax.” He demanded the cabinet return to a policy of wide-reaching closures of villages and sieges against towns in the West Bank, as well as the increase of checkpoints on the roads.

Amid the recent rise in terror attacks, activists on social media began a campaign to fire Fox from his position, as they see him as personally responsible for the perceived failure to keep Israeli settlers in Judea and Samaria safe.

Fox also spoke about the first results from the investigation into the attack near Hebron on Monday morning, in which Batsheva Nigri, 42, was murdered in front of her 12-year old daughter and Aryeh Gottlieb, 39, was seriously wounded.

According to Fox, soldiers at the nearby army post did not immediately recognize that a terror attack had taken place and, therefore, didn't shoot the terrorists.

“They didn’t recognize the operational situation. We will study this; at the moment we are at the beginning... On the face of it, it doesn't seem like there was a problem here with the soldiers."

The Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades on Monday claimed responsibility for the attack, which the organization called “a natural response to the crimes and arrogance of the occupation." 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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