Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a weekly cabinet meeting, December 23rd, 2018.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
All the terrorists who killed Israelis in 2018 have either been killed or arrested, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday during a visit to the base of the Yamam, Israel’s elite Counterterrorism Unit.
The visit comes after the arrest on Tuesday of Assam Barghouti, accused of killing soldiers Yuval Mor-Yosef and Yosef Cohen outside Givat Assaf last month.
Barghouti’s arrest follows the killing in December of Ashraf Walid Suleiman Na’alwa, the terrorist who killed Kim Levengood-Yehezkel and Ziv Hagbi in the Barkan industrial park in October, as well as the arrest of four Palestinians suspected in the shooting attack outside Ofra last month and the killing of a fifth suspect in that attack, Saleh Omar Barghouti. Seven people were wounded in the Ofra attack, including Shira Ish-ran who was 30 weeks pregnant. Her baby, whom the couple named Amiad Israel, was delivered in an emergency operation, but died three days later.
Netanyahu praised the Yamam and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) for their actions in apprehending those responsible for the Ofra, Barkan and Givat Assaf attacks.
The Yamam and Shin Bet combination gives Israel “the best counterterrorism units in the world,” Netanyahu said, adding that many countries come to Israel and say, “‘bring them to us, so we can learn from them.’”
“What Israel’s citizens need to know, is that anyone who killed an Israeli citizen last year was either killed or apprehended,” Netanyahu said. “This is an unparalleled achievement in the world, and it is because of these guys, because of their daring heroism, creativity and commitment.”
All of Israel’s enemies knew that “Israel’s arm would reach them, and it reached them through the Yamam fighters and through the Shin Bet.”
Fourteen people, according to the Foreign Ministry, were killed in terrorist attacks in 2018, compared to 19 people killed in attacks in 2017. The 2018 figure was the lowest number of people killed in terrorist attacks since 2013, when seven people were killed. At the height of the Second Intifada in 2002, 457 people were killed in terrorist attacks.
Netanyahu was accompanied by Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, Shin Bet director Nadav Argaman, and top police and Yamam officers.
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