Israel’s Defense Ministry has revoked the entry permits of 164 Palestinians related to suspected members of the Nablus-based Lions’ Den militant group.
The decision came following a security assessment and as the IDF continues its closure on Nablus following a rise in shooting attacks by the militant group.
“Let the terrorists hiding amid the civilian population of Nablus be aware that their identity is well known to the security organizations and that the path of terrorism which they have chosen will have repercussions for their families, who will no longer be able to earn their living in Israel,” said the Head of the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) Maj.-Gen. Ghasan Alyan.
Security organizations are “using all means at their disposal” to thwart terror in the West Bank, he added.
Over the past year, Alyan has denied the entry into Israel of over 2,500 Palestinians related to terrorists who carried out attacks against Israeli civilians and troops.
“Let the terrorists hiding amid the civilian population of Nablus be aware that their identity is well known to the security organizations and that the path of terrorism which they have chosen will have repercussions for their families."COGAT Maj.-Gen. Ghasan Alyan
Terrorism and tensions on the rise
On Sunday, Defense Ministry Benny Gantz visited the Gush Etzion region of the West Bank along with the Judea and Samaria Division Commander Brig.-Gen. Avi Bloth and other officials.
Gantz spoke at a Sukkah event hosted by Efrat Council head Oded Revivi, which included more than a dozen regional Palestinian visitors, such as Hebron businessman Ashraf Jabari.
During Gantz's visit, he went to the Beitar Crossing where he met with and thanked commanders and troops for “their actions for the security of the citizens of Israel,” read a statement released by his office.
“Our duty is to enable security and eradicate threats. We are committed to this and we will continue our operations against terrorism and extend it as much as necessary and by all means - offensive, defensive, political, and civil,” he said.
Israel will be closing all crossings between the West Bank and Israel for the final day of the Sukkot holiday on Sunday night.
Security forces have been placed on high alert in Jerusalem and the West Bank for additional violence by Palestinians. Four Palestinians were killed in clashes with security forces over the weekend, including one who had opened fire on the settlement of Beit El and injured an Israeli man sitting in his Succah.
Due to the increased violence, additional battalions have been deployed across the West Bank during the holidays to prevent attacks. Reserve battalions of the Border Police have also been deployed to Jerusalem and surrounding areas after violent rioting broke out by Palestinians protesting the closure of the Shuafat refugee camp after a deadly shooting attack last week.
Operation Break the Wave
The IDF launched Operation Break the Wave in April following a spree of deadly terror attacks which claimed the lives of 20 people in Israel. Forces have since arrested over 2,000 Palestinians and confiscated weapons, funds and other terror paraphernalia.
The arrest raids have also led to over 100 Palestinians, mostly militants, being killed. According to The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), “so far, 2022 is the highest year for Palestinian fatalities in the West Bank, compared to the same period in the previous 16 years.”
Four Israeli security forces have been killed since the beginning of the operation, two of them in the past week.
Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.