After two weeks of deadly attacks and rising tensions in the country, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Tuesday that Israel is taking “aggressive action” in order to root out terror and stop attacks before they happen.
During a visit to the Israel Defense Force’s Judea and Samaria Division headquarters, the prime minister held a security consultation with Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi and other top IDF generals.
“We are currently taking very aggressive action. Up until now, the IDF, ISA [Israeli Security Agency] and the Israel Police have thwarted over 15 significant terrorist attacks that were planned by terrorists in Judea and Samaria and in the rest of the country,” Bennett said.
The premier noted that in the past few days Israeli security forces thwarted more than 15 significant terror attacks. Military and police operations have led to the arrest of 207 suspects and raids on dozens of homes in the West Bank. They also identified more than 400 people who have had some connection with ISIS or extremist jihad organizations.
“The last two weeks, in which we have been dealing with severe terrorist attacks, are a wake-up call for all of us. We are determined not to allow this wave of terrorism to pass by without a correction but to arise from this wake-up call, after years of neglect and procrastination – and fix what needs to be fixed with full force,” said Bennet.
The government has promised to allocate more resources for officer recruitment and protective gear including helmets, ceramic vests and laser devices. Security forces will also focus their efforts on confiscating illegally accumulated weapons from the Israeli-Arab sector, from which two of the latest terror attacks have emerged.
Bennett referred to the current security situation in the country as “alert routine.” He called on Israeli civilians to resume their normal lives but stay on alert.
“The terrorists’ goal is not just to murder and kill but to sow fear in the hearts of Israeli citizens in order to disrupt the routine. We cannot let them succeed. We are not stopping life,” Bennett stressed.
“I call on everyone to continue going to work as usual, to sending the children to school, to going out and yes, most certainly to travel around the country. For many years they have been trying to uproot us from this land, to attack the spirit of the people, and to make us give up. It did not work then; it will never work.”
Yesterday, Bennett visited security forces wounded in action recently and met with the commander of an elite unit who was severely hurt in a counter-terrorist operation in the West Bank on Saturday.
Bennett thanked them on behalf of the citizens of Israel, saying their determination in the field “provides calm for the citizens on the street.”
“In the face of waves of terrorism, we must unite, be together and win. With God's help, this is what is going to happen,” he said.
Tal Heinrich is a senior correspondent for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS. She is currently based in New York City. Tal also provides reports and analysis for Israeli Hebrew media Channel 14 News.