The Israeli army distributed warning letters Thursday to the residents of the Palestinian village of Beit Fajjar, south of Bethlehem, urging them to prevent further local “destructive operations” or face a crackdown.
“Following the destructive operations emanating from your area against residents of the region, the IDF and Israeli security forces will work against terrorism and anyone who has a hand in it. And we will do everything that is necessary to stop the operations,” the letter, which was written in Arabic, said.
The letter continued: “It is of general benefit, first of all, to prevent any breach of security for citizens, and second, to protect the security and peace of the region.”
The statement ended by asking the townspeople to help the IDF to “restore stability” to the area.
צה"ל פיזר כרוזים הלילה בכפר בית פג'אר שבגוש עציון. בתרגום חופשי: יוצאים מכאן יותר מדי פיגועים. תרגיעו או שנפעל וזה לא יהיה נעים. ראו הוזהרתם pic.twitter.com/mWpI2Xqkfd
— Elior Levy (@eliorlevy) October 13, 2016
No specific “operations” originating from the village were mentioned by the IDF in the letter.
The IDF confirmed to The Times of Israel that it had distributed the letters, but would not elaborate as to why Beit Fajjar was specifically warned.
Back in April, two Israeli soldiers accidentally drove into Beit Fajjar in a military vehicle and briefly came under attack but left the area unharmed and without assistance.
The Israeli army has used letters in the past to warn other villages of impending operations should more attackers come from their area.
While in Beit Fajjar, according to a report by the official Palestinian Authority news outlet Wafa, the IDF searched the home of Issam Thawabteh, who was shot dead last November while carrying out a stabbing attack on a young Israeli woman in the nearby Etzion settlement bloc. The report also mentioned that the home of Ahmad Yussef Taqataqa was searched.
No arrests were made in the village, the report said.
Security has been tight for this year’s Jewish High Holiday season, which began in early October, with fears of a new surge in violence, particularly following a Palestinian terror attack in Jerusalem on Sunday in which a gunman killed two Israelis.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.