Israel will use "all kinds of weapons" to target terrorists who aim to harm Israeli citizens or soldiers, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Tuesday.
The prime minister's directive comes amid growing calls for the IDF to use attack helicopters and air-to-surface missiles against Palestinian terror suspects in the West Bank. Last week, Noam Raz, a veteran of the counterterror unit Yamam, was shot and killed during an IDF operation in the Palestinian city of Jenin.
Speaking after a visit to the Efraim Regional Brigade in the West Bank with IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi, Bennett said that he instructed them to use all means necessary to bring calm and security to Israel.
"The directive is clear: to hit terrorists wherever they are, with all types of weapons," the prime minister said. "We give our full support to the IDF and Israel Police to attack any terrorist – in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and anywhere else in the country. Whoever raises a hand against an Israeli citizen or an IDF soldier - his blood is on his head."
ראש הממשלה, נפתלי בנט, קיים הערכת מצב בחטיבה המרחבית אפרים ביהודה ושומרון, יחד עם הרמטכ"ל, מפקד פיקוד המרכז ובכירים נוספים.רה"מ בנט: "מי שמרים יד על אזרח ישראל או חייל צה"ל - דמו בראשו"לדברים המלאים >>https://t.co/rdhbTsAM1u pic.twitter.com/ZrYdlcTy8h— ראש ממשלת ישראל (@IsraeliPM_heb) May 17, 2022
Early Tuesday, IDF soldiers shot a Palestinian near the Hawara checkpoint outside Nablus after he attempted to stab troops in the area.
Video from the scene of the attempted attack shows a person running toward soldiers with a knife in his hand before being shot. No Israeli soldiers were injured in the incident.
"We are happy that this incident ended without any civilians getting hurt," said St.-Sgt.-Maj. R. who shot at the terrorist.
IDF soldiers, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and Border Police arrested 18 Palestinians throughout the West Bank early Tuesday morning, including in Qarawat Bani Hassan, Hable, Halhul, ad-Dhahiriya, Dheisha, Nablus and Kalkilya, as part of Operation Break the Wave.
In Ras Atiya, the IDF seized an M-16 and arrested a suspect. As soldiers worked to arrest suspects in Far'a, shots were fired in the area. No soldiers were injured.
Later on Tuesday morning, clashes were reported in Al Aroub near Hebron as Israeli forces entered the town.
On Tuesday night, sirens sounded in Shavei Shomron amid reports that a Palestinian terrorist entered the West Bank settlement, Army Radio reported.
Residents were asked to shelter in their homes and close all windows and doors.
The IDF confirmed it had identified suspicious activity near Shavei Shomron and searched the area. However, nothing unusual was found and the situation returned to normal.