Israeli forces under 'no restrictions' against Palestinian terrorists - Gantz

The IDF's involvement in stifling terror is "dictated only by the operational need," Defense Minister Benny Gantz said.

 IDF arresting suspects in the West Bank suspected of connection with the terrorist who carried out the Tel Aviv terror attack, April 10, 2022.  (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON UNIT)
IDF arresting suspects in the West Bank suspected of connection with the terrorist who carried out the Tel Aviv terror attack, April 10, 2022.
(photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON UNIT)

There are no restrictions on the use of force against Palestinian terrorist suspects, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Monday, and the scale of the IDF’s involvement in stifling terrorism is “dictated only by the operational need.”

However, Israel is trying to distinguish between those who support and plan to carry out terrorist attacks and the broad Palestinian population, he said.

“We try to differentiate between the population and the perpetrators of terrorism and between the different geographical environments,” Gantz said. “Terrorist activity is prevalent in the Jenin area, which is why Jenin is under extensive operational activity, including a direct hit to its economy.”

IDF and Border Police forces operated in Jenin over the weekend, carrying out large arrest raids in the West Bank city.

In a decision made following the terrorist attack on Thursday night to tighten security around Tel Aviv, Arab-Israelis will be prevented from entering Jenin, and merchants and other businessmen from Jenin will not be allowed to enter Israel.

  Israel's Defense Minister Benny Gantz is seen addressing a townhall in Munich, Germany, on February 20, 2022. (credit: Munich Security Conference) Israel's Defense Minister Benny Gantz is seen addressing a townhall in Munich, Germany, on February 20, 2022. (credit: Munich Security Conference)

Gantz also spoke about the decision made by the security cabinet on Sunday to approve NIS 360 million for the 400-km. reconstruction of Israel’s 470-km. security barrier along the West Bank. As part of the reconstruction, wire fencing will be replaced with nine-meter-high concrete blocks.

“We are starting an engineering effort to improve the existing situation [in the West Bank],” he said, adding that construction will begin as soon as possible to “improve the situation along the Seam Line.”

Gantz praised the defense establishment’s gathering of intelligence that lead to the arrest of 13 terrorist suspects in the West Bank, including in Burka, Klil and Hebron on Monday. Soldiers also confiscated four vehicles and two handguns.

Clashes broke out between Palestinians and Israeli forces in a number of locations on Monday morning near Klil, with dozens of Palestinians burning tires and throwing stones at soldiers. Gunshots were also heard. No injuries were reported among Israeli forces.

According to Palestinian reports, Israeli forces entered Meithalun, south of Jenin, and arrested a Palestinian at his home on Monday morning. An additional suspect was arrested in Burkin, near Jenin, the IDF said. Israeli forces also entered Hebron and Silwad, arresting Hamas official Ismail al-Nattah.

Also on Monday, there were more tense clashes near Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus. Two members of Rabbi Eliezer Berland’s Breslov hassidic sect were shot at the entrance of the city, trying to get to the Tomb, and Palestinians vandalized the site. Videos shared on social media show a number of young men throwing stones inside the building.

The two Israelis, from Bnei Brak and Jerusalem, broke through an unmanned checkpoint at one of the entrances to Nablus before being shot and then driving to a manned checkpoint at a different exit from the city.

Soldiers provided initial medical treatment to the wounded before transferring them to Rabin Medical Center-Beilinson Campus in Petah Tikva.