Israel has decided to cease transferring the bodies of dead terrorists over to the Palestinian Authority, will withhold tax revenues equal to the amount transferred to terrorist’s families and has approved the building of 42 new housing units in Kiryat Arba.
Israel’s Security Cabinet convened on Saturday night to discuss and approve a number of measures to combat the latest wave of Palestinian terror attacks.
Earlier in the day, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman visited the scene of Friday’s attack in which Michael Mark, 48, from Otniel and a father of 10, was murdered and his wife was seriously wounded. Two of their teenage children were also hurt in the attack.
Liberman said that severe measures have been taken in the last two days to deter terrorists and prevent attacks, and that the main focus of the current operation was to capture the cell that carried out the attack.
The IDF sealed off several towns in the Hebron area from which Palestinian terrorism has repeatedly emanated.
On Saturday, Israeli security forces arrested several Palestinian suspects in the Hebron area, as part of the hunt for those responsible for Friday’s terror attack.
The Cabinet approved the building of 42 new housing units in Kiryat Arba in the neighborhood where 13-year-old Hallel Yaffa Ariel, who was stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist in her bed on Thursday, lived. The tender was in the works six months ago, but was essentially frozen by the government. Local leaders slammed this response as too little and too late.
Israel also decided not to return the bodies of Palestinian terrorists, and ordered a special cemetery be prepared for their burial. Returning the bodies of terrorists serves as a source of inspiration for Palestinians, and their funerals become a parade to promote terrorism against Israel.
On Friday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered that the amount of money being transferred by the Palestinian Authority (PA) to terrorists and their families be deducted immediately from the tax revenues that Israel transfers monthly to the PA.
The Palestinian Authority transfers funds to terrorists by various laundering methods; the more severe the acts of terrorism, the greater the amount of funds.
“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,” Netanyahu said in a statement.
Michael Mark will be laid to rest in Jerusalem on Sunday afternoon.
His wife Hava is still hospitalized in serious condition and unconscious at Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital, after being operated on extensively. Their daughter Tehila is recovering from surgery and is in moderate condition after sustaining an abdominal wound in the attack.
By: Max Gelber, United with Israel
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