Israel has raised the alert level along its borders, the West Bank and the capital, Jerusalem, in an apparent effort to stem the rise of Palestinian violence.
IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi toured the West Bank city of Bethlehem, where he held a situation assessment with the regional commanders. ““We have no intention of allowing terrorism to succeed,” said the IDF general during the visit, specifying that “very clear directives” have been issued to all IDF to “thwart and prevent” any terrorism, including “rocks, Molotov cocktails, explosive balloons.” Gen. Kochavi went on to underscore that none of the recent attacks involving a car-ramming, incendiary airborne devices and a drive-by shooting will yield a successful outcome, emphasizing that “the IDF has been organized and focused on the Palestinian arena in recent weeks, and we will respond sharply and clearly to all these events. ”
Following the situation assessment, the Israeli army announced that its divisions in Judea and Samaria will be reinforced with additional combat troops.
Similar strategic discussion between Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan and Chief of Police Moti Cohen lead to the raising of alert status among police, necessitating the deployment of thousands of auxiliary officers to Jerusalem and other vulnerable or flashpoint areas nationwide. Minister Erdan asserted that the latest “series of terror attacks were instigated by unrelenting incitement from the Palestinian leadership.” After stating that in his view “the Temple Mount is the most sensitive location” that could be used to stir up more conflict, the Public Security Minister stressed the need for operations to be conducted ‘with resolve and determination’ toward assertion of Israeli sovereignty over the ancient compound while simultaneous dealing with “any element that incites the public to violence.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was given a security briefing by IDF commanders at the ‘tunnels security crossing’ through which the terrorist who executed yesterday’s vehicular-ramming attack in Jerusalem fled the city. The Israeli leader also spoke with soldiers serving in the area. At the close of the inspection, Netanyahu taped a direct message to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in which he said that none of the three terror attacks within 24 hours “will not help you – not the stabbings, car-rammings, snipings or the incitement.” The Premier then declared that “We will do everything necessary to protect our security, to set our borders, [and] to ensure our future. We will do this together with you (Abbas), or without you.”