A large-scale manhunt is ongoing across the West Bank for the perpetrators of yesterday’s deadly terror attack, when a Palestinian terrorist opened fire – from point-blank – toward a group of Israeli soldiers and civilians at a bus-stop; killing two IDF troops and critically wounding another soldier and a female civilian. Following the deadly incident, which occurred on route 60 near the West Bank outpost of Giv’at Assaf, the Commanding officer of the IDF Central Command asserted that the terrorists will have nowhere to hide. Major General Nadav Padan announced that the deadly-attack forced an Israeli decision to reinforce the Israeli military presence across the West Bank, in efforts to increase security in Israeli communities and the roads leading to them. According to Maj. Gen. Padan, “The terrorists will have nowhere to hide in Judea and Samaria (West Bank). The IDF will continue to hunt them. Following the terror attack, we are reinforcing our forces, protecting the roads and the communities, and expanding our efforts to thwart terrorism, wherever it be hiding.” He further stressed that while Hamas managed to extract a heavy price from Israel, the IDF will pursue their operatives and bring those responsible for the deadly terror attack, to justice, saying: “Over the last few days, a Hamas terror cell was able to hit us and extract a heavy price from us. We will continue to pursue them in this incident as well and will bring this terror cell to justice.”
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a security assessment at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, with the top-brass of Israel’s Defense Establishment. In a televised statement, Netanyahu stressed that “We will settle accounts with whoever did this. Our guiding principle is that whoever attacks us and whoever tries to attack us – will pay with his life. Our enemies know this, and we will find them.” Netanyahu, who serves – among others – as Israel’s Defense Minister, ordered to increase the administrative detentions of Hamas activists across the districts of Judea and Samaria. Netanyahu warned Hamas that Israel would take action against it, if it continues to employ terrorism and said that there would not be a situation of a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip and fire in the West Bank.
In addition to the military measures against the Islamist group in the West Bank, the Prime Minister announced his decision to retroactively recognize thousands of settler homes that were built without government approval, across the West Bank. In addition to the legalizing of many of the illegal homes, the Israeli Prime Minister said he would try to advance plans for 82 new housing units in the Jewish settlement of Ofra and two West Bank industrial zones. A close associate of the Prime Minister told TV7 that the Palestinians need to understand that every time they seek to harm the Jewish communities in the West Bank, Jerusalem will respond with approving additional housing units, to counter destructive intent with constructive enactment.
The Islamist Hamas organization held a protest, in the Gaza Strip, in support of its members in the West Bank. In an official statement by the spokesman of the internationally recognized terror group, Fawzi Barhoum hailed the latest deadly terror attacks in the West Bank as “heroic and brave operation which is a natural reaction to the Israeli occupation crimes and violations against our people in the West Bank, Gaza, Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa compound.” It is important to note that Hamas views Israel as a colonialist entity that has no right to exist – referring to all of Israel as occupied territories. To fulfill its mandate, which it attained from the Palestinian people across the Gaza Strip and West Bank – following Hamas’s victory in the 2006 general Palestinian elections – the Islamist organization officially maintains a position of armed conflict against the Jewish state, openly calling for the annihilation of every Israeli.