TEL AVIV – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened his security cabinet Saturday night to weigh a series of responses to last week’s terrorist attacks that killed two and wounded five.
“We must understand that we are in a war and must act accordingly. A state of emergency must be declared, legislation allowing the expulsion of the families of terrorists needs to be promoted, and we need to take steps to crack down on those who incite terrorism,” Yisrael Katz, Intelligence Minister and member of the security cabinet, said.
On Thursday, 13-year-old Hallel Yaffa Ariel was asleep in her bed when 17-year-old Palestinian terrorist Muhammad Taraireh broke into her home and stabbed her to death. The following day saw a drive-by shooting that killed Rabbi Miki Mark in the same area of the West Bank.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman subsequently ordered the forced closure of villages in the Hebron area where the terrorists resided.
On Friday, the prime minister approved the construction of 42 homes in Kiryat Arba, the settlement in which the Ariel family lives.
The IDF also canceled some 2,800 work permits for Palestinians from Taraireh’s village of Bani Naim.
Liberman promised that he will not allow the bodies of the Palestinian terrorists to be returned to their families, but that a special cemetery will be built for them instead.
Israel will also deduct the sum that the Palestinian Authority pays to terrorists and their families from its monthly transfer to the West Bank’s leadership.
“The Palestinian Authority transfers funds to terrorists by various laundering methods; the more severe the acts of terrorism, the greater the amount of funds,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement on Friday.
“Prime Minister Netanyahu has ordered that the entire amount of support for terrorists and their families be deducted from the tax revenues that Israel transfers monthly to the Palestinian Authority,” the PMO added.
“Israel believes that the encouragement of terrorism by the Palestinian leadership – in the form of both incitement and payments to terrorists and their families – constitutes incentive for murder.” the PMO said.
Liberman expressed the need to take punitive measures against Palestinians to deter attacks, including demolishing terrorists’ homes and refusing to issue work permits.
He also said that thousands of illegally built homes in the West Bank may be razed to the ground.
Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) called on the army and the government to demand that the families of the terrorists pay a heavy price for the actions of their relatives – including exile and imprisonment.
“We can’t continue to rely on a policy of closures and the withholding of tax fees,” Bennett said, noting that in such cases the terrorists still receive the PA’s stipend.
Starting in August, the Taraireh family will begin receiving such funds.
Muhammed Taraireh’s mother told a local Hebron news network how proud she was of her “heroic” son.
“My son is a hero. He made me proud. My son died as a martyr defending Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, [my son] has joined the Martyrs before him, and he is not better than them. Allah willing, all of them will follow this path, all the youth of Palestine. Allah be praised,” she said.
Bennett also suggested that cellphone networks and the Internet be suspended as a way of curbing the ongoing incitement to violence on social media.
“Facebook is the central tool of incitement in the ‘viral’ terror wave,” he said.
Bennett further called for the arrest of Hamas terrorists in the West Bank, in particular those who have committed acts of terror since their release in 2011’s Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange deal.
Finally, he called for the IDF to restore full military control in areas of the West Bank currently under Palestinian control.
Rabbi Mark was driving on Friday afternoon with his wife, Chava, and two of their ten children when they were attacked by Palestinian gunmen.
Paramedics found Mark dead in the overturned vehicle.
Chava Mark was taken to a hospital in Jerusalem in serious condition. Their 14-year-old daughter sustained a bullet wound to her stomach and their 15-year-old son was lightly wounded.
Mark is the head of Otniel yeshiva, a Talmudic seminary that is no stranger to terror. In 2002, two Palestinians infiltrated the yeshiva and murdered four students.