update deskIsrael-Palestinian Conflict

Samaria Council calls for ‘Operation Defensive Shield 2.0’

There have been dozens of shootings, stone-throwing and Molotov cocktail attacks in the region recently.

IDF soldiers in the Jenin refugee camp during "Operation Defensive Shield," April 9, 2002. Credit: IDF Spokesperson's Office.
IDF soldiers in the Jenin refugee camp during "Operation Defensive Shield," April 9, 2002. Credit: IDF Spokesperson's Office.

The Samaria Regional Council called for an “Operation Defensive Shield 2” in the wake of the shooting attack that killed Meir Tamari on Tuesday near the Jewish community of Hermesh.

Tamari, 32, left behind his wife, Tal, and two children, Alma, 3, and Yahav, 1.

The council said that attack was one of dozens of shootings, stone-throwings and Molotov cocktail attacks that take place regularly in Samaria.

It has embarked on a campaign to demand an IDF offensive against the terrorists, which would include the collection of illegal weapons and the return of security checkpoints.

(Yossi Dagan, head of the regional council, had said previously that the checkpoint where the shooting occurred was not active. “The writing was on the wall. If the checkpoint had been active, the attack would have been avoided,” he said.)

Benjamin Horgan, whose wife, Esther, was killed by a terrorist in 2020, joined the campaign. Tamari was the son-in-law from a previous marriage of Horgan’s new wife.

“I have no words. We cannot continue to tolerate this. I am shocked. Now two more orphans. This is unimaginable. And the terrible thing for me is that there is a way to stop this. And the Israeli government is giving in to international pressure instead of protecting its citizens,” he said.

“I don’t want to see any more orphans. Do what is necessary. Collect the weapons. Go on a military operation if necessary. Put back the barriers. For the sake of little Alma, for the sake of Yahav who won’t get to know his father, for the sake of the people of Israel,” Horgan said.

Dagan said, “This situation cannot continue. This government needs to come to its senses.

“We will not continue to sit at home and watch Israeli citizens being murdered. There is a way to stop this slaughter. The State of Israel must decide that the lives of its citizens come before the fabric of life of the enemy, who is trying to murder us in Tel Aviv, in the Jordan Valley and in Samaria.

“The government must stop being afraid of what the U.S. president will say. It’s time for you to be afraid that another child will grow up an orphan and another Israeli family will never be the same again,” he said.

Dagan said Samaria’s residents were united in their demand for a new “Defensive Shield.”

“This is what stopped the Second Intifada and this is what will stop the rampant terrorism today.”

“Operation Defensive Shield” took place in 2002, in the midst of the Second Intifada. IDF units entered major Arab cities in Judea and Samaria to stop ongoing terrorism. It was launched two days after the Passover massacre, when a Palestinian suicide bomber attacked a seder dinner at Netanya’s Park Hotel, killing 30 civilians and wounding 140.

Horgan then spoke about how they found out about Tamari’s murder:

Tal called right after the incident happened, he said. She didn’t know it was Meir yet, but she told Horgan that there had been an attack at the entrance to Hermesh and that she was stressed about it.

“We immediately left our house. On the way to her place, we realized it was Meir and we thought he was just injured. When we got to Hermesh— I was driving with Tal—even then I thought he was just injured and that he is conscious, but when we got to the hospital, Tal and I were informed that he was no longer with us,” Horgan said.

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