Israel will “settle accounts” with the terrorists and “exact a price” from their families, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday following a pair of fatal attacks in Tel Aviv and Gush Etzion that claimed five lives.
The prime minister, in a Facebook posting, said the homes of the terrorists will be demolished and their residency revoked.
Netanyahu held high-level security consultations in the evening with the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), IDF and police officials. Following that meeting, the Prime Minister’s Office released a discussed regarding moves to carry out in the Hebron area, the region from where most of the terrorists have come in recent days, including the terrorist who carried out Thursday’s attack in Tel Aviv.
In addition, measures to be taken against Israelis illegally employing Palestinians without work permits were also discussed.
The prime minister, meanwhile, said on Facebook that those who do not condemn the terrorism in Israel as they do in Paris are hypocrites and blind. The same Islamist extremists who are trying to destroy Israel are attacking Paris and threatening Europe, he said.
Netanyahu said that Israel is waging a determined struggle against the terrorists, and the country’s intensive actions have prevented many more atrocities.
“Almost all the terrorists who have attacked us during this wave of terrorism have either been killed or arrested,” he said. “There is no immunity for the terrorists, we will settle accounts with them, extract a price from their families, destroy their homes and revoke their residency.”
Netanyahu said that he has set a rule: to destroy the home of every terrorist.
“This struggle did not begin yesterday, and will not end tomorrow,” he said. “We are struggling against terrorism already for a century, and the struggle will continue with determination: controlling the territory, continuing arrests, massive increase of force, entering the villages and the neighborhoods, destroying the homes of terrorists and thwarting the terrorist infrastructure.”
Netanyahu said the government will not hesitate to use any effective measure to ensure security.
“Those who will not learn the lesson of the power that we will use now, will pay a heavy price,” he warned.
Those methods highlighted by Netanyahu were slammed Thursday by the UN Middle East coordinator Nickolay Mladenov at his monthly briefing to the Security Council.
Mladenov opened his comments by extending his “deepest condolences and sympathies to the families of the victims of the abhorrent terrorist attacks in Paris, Beirut and the Sinai.”
While he did not mention Israelis at first, he did – after enumerating the number of Israeli and Palestinian casualties over the last month – “reiterate” the UN’s “resolute condemnation of all terrorist attacks.”
He called “on political, community and religious leaders on all sides to speak out against terror and all forms of violence.”
Mladenov specifically mentioned seven Palestinians, “injured in settler-related violence,” but said nothing of the Israeli motorists wounded in rock-throwing incidents last month throughout Judea and Samaria.
The UN envoy, a former Bulgarian foreign minister, noted that the epicenter of the violence has moved from Jerusalem to Hebron, and – as some Israeli politicians were calling for a closure around Hebron – called for restrictions within Hebron to be eased.
He declared that “punitive demolitions” of the homes of alleged terrorists are “illegal under international law, criticized Israel for arresting terrorist suspects in hospitals, and said, “The use of firearms by Israeli security forces should be employed only when less extreme means are insufficient to address an imminent threat of death or serious injury.”
In addition, Mladenov said, “the sanctity of burial rituals must be recognized, and Palestinians must be allowed to bury their deceased without unnecessary delay.”
Reacting to the attacks in Israel on Thursday, President Reuven Rivlin said, “Our hearts are pained and broken. The pain is the same pain. The mourning is the same mourning in Tel Aviv, in Paris, in Gush Etzion, and in the Sinai. The pornography of death is striking across the world.”
Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan pointed out that the Tel Aviv attack took place a day after the anniversary of the massacre of worshipers in a synagogue in Jerusalem’s Har Nof neighborhood.
“It has been a year since terrorism struck us so mercilessly, and once again there is a horrible attack in Tel Aviv. Terrorism is terrorism, no matter where it happens,” he said.
Ben-Dahan posited that terrorism is rooted in incitement and encouragement by the Palestinian leadership and called to demolish the homes of the terrorists as soon as possible, as well as to deport their families, in order to deter further attacks.
MK Nava Boker (Likud) took to Twitter to write, “Two more victims paid with their lives the price of incitement against Jews. My heart aches to see how my nation’s blood is still being shed at the hands of terrorists.”
MK Bezalel Smotrich (Bayit Yehudi) called to close Israeli roads in the West Bank to Palestinians, saying that “the defense minister’s hesitation is dangerous.”
“The only solution for terrorism is cutting off the hope that motivates it,” Smotrich wrote on Twitter. “As long as there is a chance that there will be a Palestinian state, the Palestinians will do anything to make it happen.”
Zionist Union MK Tzipi Livni called it a “day of shocking terrorism in Tel Aviv, Gush Etzion and Marseille,” and sent condolences to the families of those killed.
Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman called to put the Hebron Hills area under siege in order to allow the IDF to “take care of the terrorist infrastructure so the place will stop being a terrorist factory.”
Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On condemned the attack, but said, “The short-term solutions Netanyahu is offering are not a response to the terrorism that is running wild in the territories, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
“The government of no-policies does not have a strategic plan to end terrorism, and the heavier hand that was supposed to give a short-term response is not effective.
In the end, the way to destroy the motivation for terrorism is a diplomatic solution,” she posited.