Settler leaders call for IDF to launch ‘Operation Defensive Shield 2’

Judea and Samaria councils to go on strike Thursday to protest Palestinian terrorism.

 Religious Zionists head MK Bezalel Smotrich is seen amongst other settler leaders praying outside of Nablus, West Bank (photo credit: ROI HADI)
Religious Zionists head MK Bezalel Smotrich is seen amongst other settler leaders praying outside of Nablus, West Bank
(photo credit: ROI HADI)

Settler councils plan to strike on Thursday as part of their campaign to pressure the IDF to embark on a military operation against Palestinian terror akin to the 2002 Operation Defensive Shield. 

The Yesha Council also plans to hold a rally in front of Defense Minister Benny Gantz's Rosh Ha'Ayin home at 11 a.m. 

Settlers protest rising number of attacks against Israelis

At issue is the rising number of shooting attacks against Israelis in settlements or on the roads in the West Bank. According to the IDF there were 34 shooting attacks in the West Bank in September, up from 23 in August and 15 in July.

On Sunday evening Palestinians shot at settlers who had held a rally at the entryway to the Palestinian city of Nablus, lightly injuring an IDF soldier.

 Israeli troops detain a man during a Palestinian protest over the killing of Palestinian gunmen in an Israeli raid on Wednesday, in Hebron in the Israeli-occupied West Bank September 29, 2022 (credit: MUSSA QAWASMA/REUTERS) Israeli troops detain a man during a Palestinian protest over the killing of Palestinian gunmen in an Israeli raid on Wednesday, in Hebron in the Israeli-occupied West Bank September 29, 2022 (credit: MUSSA QAWASMA/REUTERS)

On Tuesday morning, in advance of the Yom Kippur fast, settlers held a pre-holiday prayer service in that same area. Rabbi Elyakim Levanon, Religious Zionist Party head Bezalel Smotrich and Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan participated in the service.

"I hope that those who heard [the prayer] will understand the need for a drastic change in the security services approach," Levanon said.

Smotrich said that "the government must order the IDF to launch a large-scale military operation in Nablus and Jenin to eradicate the nests of terrorism" that are established there before more harm comes to Israelis.

Dagan said that unless the IDF embarks on a second Defensive Shield operation it's only a matter of time before there is "another victim and another orphan."

"Every day that passes, and this government buries its head in the sand, brings us closer to the next disaster," Dagan stated.

Settler leaders also held an emergency meeting on Monday in front of Gantz's home, in which they issued aa similar call for a second Operation Defensive Shield.