ISRAEL: After the deadliest army raid in the West Bank in decades, which left seven people dead and three others hurt outside a Jerusalem synagogue, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has taken harsh measures against Palestinians, such as making West Bank settlements stronger.
The unexpected attack also killed nine Palestinians, two of whom were civilians. It escalated the conflict between Israel and the Islamist-controlled Gaza Strip, as the raid triggered rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.
The Prime Minister’s security cabinet, comprised of pro-settlers and ultranationalists, supported and approved the “additional deterrent measures regarding the families of terrorists that express support for terrorism” on Saturday evening, as reported.
The Prime Minister also said that the family residence of the gunman who shot at Neve Yaakov, a place neighbouring Jerusalem, has been seized.
In addition, the deprivation of social security and health benefits for attackers’ families, changes in policies that would allow the demolition of Palestinian attackers’ homes, and expanding firearm licencing to Israeli citizens have all been considered.
Israeli police say that the house in the At-Tor neighbourhood of East Jerusalem will be torn down in the next few days.
These measures, which are illegal under international law, are likely to cause a lot of tension between the Palestinian public and the Palestinian Authority (PA), which takes care of a part of the West Bank.
An armed Palestinian man on Sunday was shot dead after he approached a settlement in the Nablus area. Houses and cars were set on fire in villages in Ramallah.
Netanyahu said that Israel was not seeking escalation but was willing to provide a “powerful, swift, and precise” response to the attacks on Friday.
Mahmoud Abbas, the PA president, said on Friday that Israel was responsible for the increasing gruesome violence. PA also stated that he would end all security cooperation with Israel.
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