search

After stabbing attacks, army ordered to rethink settlement security

Netanyahu directs army to prepare widespread program to protect West Bank communities following three attacks in eight days

Israeli soldiers guarding a barrier at the Gush Etzion Junction, a major transit point for the West Bank, Nov. 23, 2015. (Gershon Elinson/FLASH90)
Israeli soldiers guarding a barrier at the Gush Etzion Junction, a major transit point for the West Bank, Nov. 23, 2015. (Gershon Elinson/FLASH90)

After a third terror attack inside a settlement in just over a week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the army Monday evening to prepare a wide-spread plan to increase settlement security.

“The prime minister has requested a detailed and encompassing program,” said a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.

Following Monday’s stabbing attack in the West Bank settlement of Beit Horon, the army implemented a series of security measures including freezing the work permits for the families of the attackers, the statement added.

Two women were injured, including one listed in critical condition, as two terrorists entered a market inside the settlement. Both attackers, one from nearby Beit Ur al-Tahta and one from the Ramallah area, were shot and killed by a security guard.

On Monday evening the army completely closed off Beit Ur al-Tahta with the exception of “humanitarian cases,” an IDF spokesperson said.

The IDF had earlier set up road road blocks around the town and were checking vehicles coming in and out while residents were still allowed to enter and leave.

A police vehicle arrives to the scene of a stabbing attack in Beit Horon, outside of Jerusalem on January 25, 2016. (Magen David Adom)
A police vehicle arrives to the scene of a stabbing attack in Beit Horon, outside of Jerusalem on January 25, 2016. (Magen David Adom)

Beit Horon sits just off Route 443, a major highway between Jerusalem and Modiin, northwest of the capital.

“The attack today was a difficult incident and was a step up in its severity from the attacks in the past,” Dudi Hayoun, police chief of the Binyman region of the West Bank, said. “The alert response and courage of civilians prevented an even larger attack.”

Last week saw two other attacks inside of West Bank settlements.

On January 17, a terrorist infiltrated the settlement of Otniel in the southern West Bank, stabbing mother-of-six Dafna Meir to death. A day later, a terrorist sneaked into the settlement of Tekoa, south of Jerusalem, and knifed a pregnant woman, Michal Froman, moderately wounding her.

Col. Yariv Ben-Ezra, commander of the IDF's Judea Regional Brigade, works with his officers in the field as they search for the man who stabbed and killed an Israeli woman in her home in the Otniel settlement in the West Bank on January 17, 2016. (IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
Col. Yariv Ben-Ezra, commander of the IDF’s Judea Regional Brigade, works with his officers in the field as they search for the man who stabbed and killed an Israeli woman in her home in the Otniel settlement in the West Bank on January 17, 2016. (IDF Spokesperson’s Unit)

Following the attack in Tekoa, the army banned all Palestinian laborers from entering West Bank settlements, keeping tens of thousands from jobs mostly in construction, manufacturing and agriculture.

The ban, imposed by the IDF’s West Bank division, Brig. Gen. Lior Carmeli, was gradually loosened and now remains in only Otniel.

read more:
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed