Israel Defense Forces Major General Yehuda Fuchs, commanding officer of Central Command, called the settler violence against Huwara a “pogrom” during an N12 news program last night.
He said that Israel has been in “the height of a wave of terror already a long time.”
Fuchs apologized to the family of the two brothers who were murdered in Huwara, saying, “I am very sorry that we were not able to prevent the terrible attack.”
He said the search for the shooter continues and that the military and the Israel Security Agency are working to catch the person “as fast as possible.”
Fuchs also warned that attempts by civilians to respond to terror would not prevent future terror attacks, saying, “they will cause more terror [attacks].”
Claiming responsibility over the area, Fuchs called the attack by the settlers “a pogrom that came through violation of the law.”
Fuchs said the attack on Huwara “surprised us by its strength and its scope.”
While the IDF had prepared for a response by settlers, they were overwhelmed by the number of participants, the pre-planned nature of the attacks and the level of violence. The officer said in other surrounding areas, there was very little violence because the military was prepared to confront the settlers.
The attackers did not act “according to the morals that I grew up with, and not according to the morals of the state of Israel, and not according to the morals of Judaism,” Fuchs added.
He warned that if revenge attacks do not stop, “there will be deaths," and noted that the Palestinian Authority is not offering any help in searching for the attackers of the last two shootings.
Speaking at a conference of the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) early on Wednesday, former Israel Security Agency (ISA) head, Yuval Diskin, also condemned the attacks.
“My heart is with the residents of the town of Huwara, who underwent a terrible pogrom at the hands of Jewish rioters," he said. "They are not my brothers, and they will not be my brothers,” referring to the violent protestors.
Diskin also said the rioters “pose a threat to the country,” and blamed the government for the poor state of security, stating, “This is not a full-fledged right-wing government, it is a full-fledged terrorist government.”
Police are continuing to investigate the incident and the ISA announced the overnight arrest of an additional 6 people for questioning.
Many Israelis have expressed frustration with the investigations, with a comment posted on social media: “Hundreds of Jewish terrorists, 6 arrested. A lone Palestinian terrorist, 60 arrested.”
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.