Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon during a visit to the Gush Etzion Junction..
(photo credit: GPO)
Israel will revoke the work permits for families of terrorists, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday during a visit to the Gush Etzion Junction, where four people have been killed by Palestinian terrorists in the last five days.
Netanyahu said that terrorists’ families “know that it has in its midst someone who is extreme or someone liable to attack, and a family like that does not have the right to work in Israel.”
Netanyahu enumerated a number of other steps that the government was taking to deal with the wave of terror from individual attackers that has extended now for some two and a half months.
Netanyahu said that every Palestinian car going on the main roads will be checked, and that bypass roads – such as one around the Gush Etzion junction – will be constructed in accordance with security services’ recommendations.
In addition, he said, the government was preparing to deal with incitement on the social media through “various means.” He did not elaborate.
He arrived by helicopter as Gush Etzion residents were taking to the streets to protest the lack of security in their region of the West Bank, located between Jerusalem and Hebron, from where many of the attacks have originated.
MK Shuli Muallem-Refaeli (Bayit Yehudi) moved her bureau temporarily to the junction on Monday and called for a military offensive against terror cells in Hebron and throughout the West Bank.
While in Gush Etzion Netanyahu said that the security forces in the region have been increased significantly, that they were going into Palestinian towns and villages and conducting numerous arrests.
“There is no restriction on the activities of the IDF and the security forces,” he said. “On the contrary, there is full [government] support, and that is important.”
Netanyahu contrasted the situation today to what it was in 2002 during Operation Defensive Shield at the height of the second intifada.
At that time, he said, there were terrorist command centers, strongholds and thousands of armed men in the territories.
Operation Defensive Shield, he said, was carried out to provide Israel with the freedom of action in Judea and Samaria that it enjoys today, “and we are using it every day and night to operate against [terrorist[ concentrations, or to foil plans, or against attackers or weapons.”
The result is that the today there are not the hundreds of deaths a year that there were during the second intifada when there were armed attackers and suicide bombers. “We don’t have that now, and we are doing everything to ensure that this does not recur,” he said.
The most important tool in fighting the terrorism, he said, revisiting a theme he has touched on numerous times over the last two months, is the “perseverance, courage and determination to fight terrorism just as we have fought its various expressions over the past 100 years.”
Netanyahu was accompanied on the visit, which also took him to the IDF Etzion Brigade Headquarters, by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, Deputy Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Yair Golan, and other top security officials. He met with Gush Etzion regional Council head Davidi Pearl, Efrat local council hear Oded Ravivi, and Kiryat Arba local council head Malachi Levinger.
“It was extremely important that he came and sat with us,” Ravivi said. He was impressed by Netanyahu’s to put an end to the terror attacks, saying that Netanyahu “was definitely open to suggestions.”
“I do not think that anyone has a quick answer to what needs to be done,” Ravivi also said.
After Netanyahu’s visit a grassroots group, “Mothers United Against Terror,” held a small demonstration at the junction, in which they too called for increased security.
Separately opposition leader Issac Herzog also visited the Gush Etzion area. He stopped at the junction and placed a wreath at a makeshift memorial set up at the bus stop where Hadar Buchris, 21, was stabbed to death on Sunday.
He also visited the home of Yaakov Don, 49, a well-known educator and father of four who was one of three people killed when a Palestinian terrorist shot at cars stuck in traffic at the junction last Thursday.Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.