Several hundred Israelis demonstrated in Jerusalem Wednesday evening, calling on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to act against a recent surge in deadly attacks carried out by Palestinians.
Protesters gathered near Netanyahu’s residence, waving signs that said “Stop the terror wave.”
There has been a spate of apparent “lone wolf” Palestinian attacks against Israelis in Jerusalem and the West Bank recently. Two men were killed in separate West Bank shootings, and two people were wounded in stabbing attacks, including a female military police officer seriously hurt after being stabbed in the neck by a Palestinian woman.
“Netanyahu is not acting strong enough against Palestinian terror,” said Mitchell Myers, who lives in the West Bank settlement of Shilo. Netanyahu has been making goodwill gestures to Palestinians for the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, he said, while “in exchange we have been getting terror day after day.”
Netanyahu visited some hospitalized victims of the recent attacks on Wednesday. He said Israel has “foiled over 200 attempted attacks” in the past year, adding, “We will reach these murderers and terrorists as well. We will exact a heavy price from both the terrorists and those who send them.”
Earlier Wednesday, Israel’s internal security service Shin Bet said it arrested 40 Hamas operatives working to expand the group’s reach in the West Bank.
The Shin Bet said the operatives were working to enlarge Hamas’s infrastructure in the territory and establish areas where they could wield influence, such as charity work and education.
The agency said the Hamas operation was partly financed by gold smuggled into the West Bank from neighboring Jordan.
Hamas has ruled the Gaza Strip with an iron fist since ousting forces loyal to the rival Palestinian Fatah party led by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in 2007, leaving him governing only the Palestinian-controlled parts of the West Bank.
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.