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Bennett Says Israel ‘Moving from Defense to Offense’


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Bennett Says Israel ‘Moving from Defense to Offense’

Monday, 11 April, 2022 - 08:00
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett during a cabinet meeting (AP)

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett tried to justify the widespread escalation in the West Bank and the massive arrest campaigns among political activists saying Israel was moving from defense to offense.

Speaking at a weekly cabinet meeting, Bennett said, "We are moving from defense to offense, and attacking the sources of terrorism, anytime, anywhere, at night, during the day, in the morning, in the evening, and wherever they are."

During the session, Bennett, the Defense Minister Benny Gantz, Public Security Minister Omer Barlev, and all security leaders left the meeting to conduct "security deliberations" about the army and intelligence activities in the West Bank, Jenin, and Nablus.

"As I said, there will be no restrictions on the security forces, on the IDF, the Shin Bet, and the Israel Police. We will continue to pursue the terrorists everywhere," he said.

Gantz revealed that he delivered a "strong message to the Palestinian Authority" to take action to protect Joseph's Tomb in Nablus and punish the violators.

He said that Israel will work quickly to "ensure that the site is refurbished and quickly returned to its original condition."

Israeli forces continued their escalation for the third day in a row on Monday in the northern areas of the West Bank, injuring dozens and arresting 25 people suspected of assisting the perpetrators of the armed operations.

Clashes erupted between the Palestinians and Israeli forces.

"Dear citizens, we are in a difficult and challenging period. It could be that it will be prolonged. The second intifada took several years, but in the end, we won. The wave of lone-wolf terrorism in 2015-2016 continued for almost a year and cost us 50 victims, but in the end, we won. This time too, we will win,." said Bennett addressing Israelis.

The PM stated that lone attacks without organizational infrastructure are a significant challenge for the security establishment, but it will meet them.

"Our enemies will seek out every crack and exploit every opportunity to attack us."

Political sources revealed that the Israeli government approved a proposal submitted by Bennett, Lapid, and Minister of Welfare and Social Affairs Meir Cohen to establish a team to formulate a policy on revoking the eligibility for "state pensions, support payments, and the other benefits from state bodies of the families of terrorists who are residents and citizens of Israel and who carried out security offenses and acts of terrorism."

The team will formulate recommendations and present them to the cabinet on the relevant issues, including advice regarding necessary legislative changes.

Bennett said: "We will settle accounts with terrorists and with the circles that surround them."

Meanwhile, the Israeli army issued Sunday a demolition order for the home of a Palestinian Diaa Hamarsheh, who carried out the Bnei Brak operation about two weeks ago.

Hamrasha is from Yabad village in the northern West Bank. The occupation army handed the family a demolition notice and a deadline to appeal the order.

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