Operation 'Break the Wave:' Security forces brace for rising terrorism tide

 “Citizens of Israel, we are currently experiencing a wave of murderous terrorism and, just like in all the previous waves, we will prevail together,” said Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

 IDF soldiers enter Jenin to arrest suspects of involvement in the Bnei Brak terror attack. (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON UNIT)
IDF soldiers enter Jenin to arrest suspects of involvement in the Bnei Brak terror attack.
(photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON UNIT)

The joint operation by Israeli security forces to stem the rising tide of terrorist attacks has been dubbed 'Break the Wave' hours after IDF troops exchanged gunfire with terrorists in Jenin and a stabbing attack occurred on a bus in Gush Etzion on Thursday.

Israeli security forces in Tarkumiya near Hebron at the home of the terrorist who stabbed an Israeli on a bus in Gush Etzion, March 31, 2022 (credit: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)

181 million shekels will be allocated to the Israel Police, a week into the latest terror wave, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Public Security Minister Omer Bar Lev (Labor) announced on Thursday evening. 

The funds will be transferred in two parts: 111 million now, and the remaining 70 million in August. 

The money will be directed to strengthening the police's ability to tighten security across the country, particularly establishing a "Shin Bet brigade" made up of reservists, the addition of 200 soldiers to Border Police and more protective equipment. 

"We are fixing a grave mistake: The neglect of Israel Police," said Bennett. "A strong Israel Police is a strong Israel."

Israeli soldiers and rescue personnel at the scene of a stabbing attack by the Neve Daniel junction, near Jerusalem on March 31, 2022. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)Israeli soldiers and rescue personnel at the scene of a stabbing attack by the Neve Daniel junction, near Jerusalem on March 31, 2022. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

Jenin Clashes

One IDF soldier was lightly injured and three Palestinian gunmen were reportedly killed in an exchange of gunfire with Palestinian gunmen in Jenin Thursday morning. The wounded IDF soldier was taken to a hospital to receive medical treatment.

IDF and Border Police had entered the city to arrest suspects in connection to the Bnei Brak terror attack and three Palestinians were killed, Israeli media reported.

At the same time, IDF soldiers arrested three suspects in Yabed on suspicion of involvement in the attack. They also seized multiple weapons.

Gush Etzion Terror Attack

Soon after the incident in Jenin, a civilian suffered critical injuries when stabbed by a terrorist on a bus near the town of Elazar in Gush Etzion. A civilian on the bus fired and killed the terrorist the IDF said.

"The terrorist used a screwdriver in order to carry out the stabbing," a police spokesperson said.

"We bought a gun today because of the situation. We put the bullets in the cartridge while driving, and then there was the attack," an eyewitness told Israel Hayom's Hanan Greenwood.

"I salute the armed citizen who killed the terrorist in a bus stabbing in Gush Etzion and saved lives. Israel is under attack, this is the only way to neutralize terrorists as quickly as possible and save lives," MK Nir Barkat said on Twitter. "I call on the government to adopt the bill I submitted and to allow the IDF combat reservists to obtain a weapons license to fight terrorism."

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett called on those with gun licenses to begin carrying their firearm.

"A 20-year-old  was stabbed in his upper body and was evacuated to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem. There are victims being treated for shock (PTSD) at the scene," Magen David Adom (MDA) Director-General Eli Bin reported. The hospital later said that the casualty was stable, but in critical condition and sedated. 

Several hours after the stabbing attack in Gush Etzion, the IDF entered Tarkumiya near Hebron, the town where the terrorist's family lives to interrogate and warn the relevant parties. 

While they were there, around 50 residents threw stones at the soldiers, who responded with crowd dispersal methods. 

Palestinian reactions

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorist group has gone into a state of organization-wide operational readiness following Thursday's attacks.

"Based on the decision of the Secretary-General, the Mujahid Commander Ziad al-Nakhala, we announce the raising of full readiness among our fighters in all military formations," The military spokesman for the PIJ's Al-Quds Brigades, Abu Hamza said.

11 Israelis have been killed in terrorist attacks over the last two weeks. Bennett warned on Wednesday that Israel was entering into a period of rising terrorist activity. 

“Citizens of Israel, we are currently experiencing a wave of murderous terrorism and, just like in all the previous waves, we will prevail together,” Bennett said. “In the last 24 hours, the security establishment has been acting with full force to restore security to Israel’s cities and a feeling of security for you, the citizens.”

The Umm el-Fahm municipality posted a message of condolences to the family of the Hadera terrorists on Facebook on Saturday. The post was removed an hour later, and Umm el-Fahm's mayor announced his resignation on Thursday evening.

The mayor's spokesperson said that the decision "surprised everyone. There was no consultation. We will pressure him to come back. He wasn't involved in the post"