From left: IDF chief of staff Gadi Eisenkot, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon pay a visit to the IDF's Home Front Command.
(photo credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)
After consultations with top army brass and senior security officials, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday announced a series of punitive measures aimed at deterring Palestinians from carrying out attacks similar to the deadly assaults which killed four Israelis in the last week.
Netanyahu, who had convened the emergency meeting with Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot, Israel Security Agency director Yoram Cohen, and the acting chief of police Bentzi Sau.
"I'd like to send condolences to the families of those murdered and to wish a speedy recovery to the wounded," Netanyahu said at the end of the meeting. "We are in the midst of a bitter war to the end against Palestinian terrorism."
The premier said that he instructed the security services to carry out "a number of additional steps, including expediting the demolition of terrorists' homes, expanding administrative detentions of rioters, and banning those engaged in incitement from the Old City and the Temple Mount."
Netanyahu was briefed by defense and security chiefs about the latest assessments on the ground, including developments in the investigation of the fatal shooting of an Israeli couple near the northern West Bank settlement of Itamar.
The prime minister plans to use Sunday's meeting as the basis of a larger cabinet session planned for Monday evening following the end of the Simchat Torah holiday.
The security chiefs also resolved to examine the possibility of beefing up the presence of police and soldiers in Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Netanyahu urged ministers and lawmakers to exercise caution in their statements.