Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to reinforce security in Judea and Samaria during a meeting on Wednesday night with the leaders of Jewish communities beyond the Green Line.
“We have come here to accomplish three goals: The first goal is to step up counterterrorism, which is being done aggressively…. The second objective is to prevent escalation and Judea and Samaria from becoming a second front. Of course, this requires preparing for large-scale attacks in Judea and Samaria, and from Judea and Samaria. The third reason is a handful of extremists that do not represent the public that is sitting here, and which causes great damage to the State of Israel,” said Netanyahu.
Netanyahu praised the 500,000-plus “loyal, law-abiding residents of Judea and Samaria, who do dedicated work.”
Many, he noted, “are either career IDF officers or reservists on the frontline in Gaza. These citizens have contributed greatly to the State of Israel over the years and are meeting challenges that the citizens of Israel know are both difficult and obligatory. They have consistently upheld ethical values and norms of conduct of the highest order.”
However, he continued, “There is a tiny handful of people that do not represent this public and that take the law into their own hands. We are not prepared to tolerate this. We are not prepared to accept this. We will take all action against them. This causes severe international damage to the State of Israel and it does not represent the public here. I condemn this.”
Tensions in Judea and Samaria are extremely high in the wake of Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre in the western Negev, which sparked a war between Israel and the Palestinian terrorist group.
On Tuesday, Israeli forces foiled a terrorist attack at the Qalandiya Crossing near Jerusalem. According to police, a Palestinian woman draped in a Hamas flag and armed with a knife was shot by Israeli security forces after ignoring directives to halt.
Also Tuesday, a masked individual armed with a knife attempted to enter the town of Ofra in northern Samaria. The suspect fled toward the Palestinian village of Ein Yabrud north of Ramallah after being fired on by Israeli security forces.
Last Thursday, Elhanan Klein, 29, a father of three from Einav, was killed in a shooting attack as he returned home on a break from IDF reserve duty.
Addressing the Gaza campaign against Hamas, Netanyahu reiterated during the meeting on Wednesday that there were no prospects for a ceasefire without the release of hostages.
“It [the campaign] is advancing well and is achieving good results,” he said. “I would like to set aside all kinds of false rumors that we are hearing from all sorts of directions and re-clarify one thing: There will be no ceasefire without the release of our hostages. Everything else is false,” he added.
The comment comes against the background of reports that Qatar and Egypt are negotiating the possible release of several hostages held by Hamas in exchange for a “humanitarian pause” in the fighting.
Attending the meeting at IDF Central Command Headquarters were the heads of Oranit, Efrat, Elkana, Ariel, Beit El, Betar Ilit, the Mateh Binyamin Regional Council, the Jordan Valley Regional Council, Givat Ze’ev, the Gush Etzion Regional Council, Har Adar, the Har Hebron Regional Council, the Hebron Authority, Modi’in Illit, Maaleh Adumim, Maaleh Efraim, Immanuel, Kedumim, Kiryat Arba, Karnei Shomron, the Shomron Regional Council, Sha’ar Shomron, the director general of the Yesha Council and the secretary general of Amana.