Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu called an urgent Diplomatic-Security Cabinet meeting for Monday evening, after Simchas Torah ends in Israel, to discuss Israel’s response to the recent spate of Palestinian terrorist attacks.
A Palestinian terrorist stabbed two Israeli Jews to death last night in the heart of Yerushalayim’s Old City before being shot and killed by security forces. The victims were identified as 41-year-old Rabbi Nechemia Lavie of Yerushalayim and 24-year-old Rabbi Aharon Benita of Beitar Illit. Benita’s wife Adele was seriously wounded in the attack, and their 2-year-old son was lightly wounded.
Recent days have seen four Israelis murdered by Palestinian terrorists: Rav Eitam and Na’ama Henkin from the Samaria community of Neria, who were gunned down Thursday while traveling with their four sons on a Samaria road, followed by the murders of Lavi and Bennett. Later Saturday, 15-year-old Moshe Malka sustained moderate wounds in another Jerusalem stabbing attack.
Ahead of Monday’s planned cabinet meeting, Netanyahu, who was making his way back to Israel from New York on Sunday, scheduled a security briefing with Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, Shin Bet Director Yoram Cohen, and acting Israel Police Commissioner Maj. Gen. Bentzi Sau.
“Israel is waging an all-out war on Palestinian terrorism,” Netanyahu said. “This battle must be fought with determination and focus. We are increasing our prevention and punitive measures. We all feel outraged, but we have to let the IDF, Shin Bet, and police fight terrorism, and no one should take the law into their own hands.”
Muhannad Halabi, the 19-year-old Palestinian terrorist who carried out Saturday’s fatal stabbing attack in the Old City, wrote on Facebook just a few hours before the incident that “the third intifada is already here.”
“Our people will not put up with how the Jews humiliate us—our brothers, our sisters, and our mothers—at Al-Aqsa mosque,” Halabi wrote. “This is not how the Prophet Muhammad wanted us to act. On behalf of the prophet and our mothers, we must rise up against the humiliation at Al-Aqsa.”