PM Benjamin Netanyahu visiting the scene of the Ariel attack. (Marc Israel Sellem/POOL) (Marc Israel Sellem/POOL)
Ariel attack

“Tomorrow, we will begin building 840 housing units in Ariel in a new neighborhood as was approved two years ago,” Netanyahu pledged.

By David Jablinowitz, United With Israel Staff 

Israel’s Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Monday to increase the Israeli presence in Judea and Samaria a day after a deadly terrorist attack was carried out in the area.

“Tomorrow, we will begin building 840 housing units in Ariel in a new neighborhood as was approved two years ago,” Netanyahu pledged.

“I send condolences to the families of IDF Sgt. Gal Keidan and Rabbi Ahiad Ettinger, who succumbed to his wounds this morning, a father of 12,” said Netanyahu, adding that “our hearts are with them.”

The prime minister received a military briefing as he toured the site of the attack at Ariel junction.

“We know the identity of the assailant,” he said, adding that the Israeli army and security agencies “are in close pursuit. We know where he lives and have located his family. This morning I gave the orders to start the demolition of his home and the preparations have begun,” added Netanyahu.

Home demolitions are carried out as a deterrent to try to fend off future would-be terrorists.

‘Terrorists Will Not Uproot Us’

The call to expand housing and infrastructure in Judea and Samaria in the aftermath of attacks is a frequent battle cry, and the prime minister injected such a pledge in his tour of the area on Monday.

“These terrorists will not uproot us from here; the complete opposite will happen,” Netanyahu vowed. Quoting from the Book of Exodus, the prime minister referred to the unsuccessful efforts of the Egyptian Pharoah to kill off Jews. “The more they afflict them, the more they multiply and spread,” he said.

“We know that we are in a constant struggle,” Netanyahu said, while expressing confidence that “we will defeat the murderers….The arms of the security services reach all of these murderers.”

Netanyahu assumed the defense portfolio after Avigdor Liberman resigned in November, arguing that the prime minister was too soft in fighting terror from the Gaza Strip.

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