Netanyahu Blames Palestinian Authority Incitement for West Bank Terror Attack

Public security minister to reexamine Palestinian work permit policy for Palestinians ■ U.S. Embassy in Israel condemns attack and 'statements glorifying terrorism'

Prime Minister Netanyahu in a cabinet meeting Tuesday September 26, 2017 following a terror attack in the West Bank settlement of Har Adar that killed 3 Israelis.
Prime Minister Netanyahu in a cabinet meeting Tuesday September 26, 2017 following a terror attack in the West Bank settlement of Har Adar that killed 3 Israelis. Marc Israel Sellem

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Palestinian Authority incitement for the West Bank terror attack that killed three Israelis Tuesday during a cabinet meeting. Netanyahu said he expects Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to denounce the attack "and not try to justify it."

The prime minister added that Israel will demolish the terrorist's house, impose a closure on his village and revoke the work permits of his extended family. 

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan noted that the terrorist had no previous history that could have indicated his intentions or danger. “It is impossible to speak about a nationalist territorial struggle. This conflict is religious,” Erdan said on his way to a meeting concerning work permits for Palestinians.

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman echoed the prime minister's sentiment incitement spurred the attack.

“The Palestinian Authority continues to incite to murder Jews and glorify and praise murderers. This is the main reason for the atmosphere of incitement in the media and social networks that leads to terrorist attacks against the citizens of Israel,” added Lieberman.

“There is no difference between Palestinian terrorism, which is fed and fueled in an institutional manner, and the radical Islamic terrorism, which carried out terrorist attacks in Europe and elsewhere in the world,” he added.

Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz said Abbas used his speech at the UN General Assembly for incitement against Israel, and as a result a Palestinian terrorist murdered three Israelis and wounded another. 

Katz said the fact that the terrorist exploited the entrance of Palestinians to work in Israel will have serious implications on the employment of Palestinians and the ability to improve their conditions of entry into Israel.

The terrorist attack is also a clear message to Donald Trump’s envoy to the peace process, Jason Greenblatt, who arrived in Israel on Tuesday. “Israel’s security was and will remain the uppermost consideration in the government’s policies and is above any other consideration on improving and easing the lives of the Palestinians,” said Katz.  

Greenblatt tweeted that "my family and I are horrified by the attack in Har Adar. Shame on Hamas & others who praised the attack. All must stand against terror!"

Coalition whip MK David Bitan (Likud) said: “We must immediately stop the entry of Palestinians into Israel. Palestinian terrorism exploits our goodwill in order to murder Israelis. We must reexamine the policy of [issuing] entry permits to Israel and understand there is no point to negotiations for the purpose of lip service with those who want to exterminate us.”

In his response, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said that "the cruel terror attack proves once again the daily front that our security forces face in the most important mission — protecting and defending the safety of the citizens of Israel."

The U.S. Embassy in Israel said in a statement that "we condemn in the strongest possible terms today’s horrific attack in Har Adar," adding that "we also condemn statements glorifying terrorism and call on all to send a clear message that terrorism must never be tolerated."

Nickolay Mladenov, the UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, said in a statement: ““It is deplorable that Hamas and others continue to glorify such attacks, which undermine the possibility of a peaceful future for both Palestinians and Israelis. I urge all to condemn violence and stand up to terror,” said Mladenov.

Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich said after the attack on Tuesday morning “the threats have moved to the home front.”  The terrorist worked in the settlement and was known to those in charge of the routine entry of Palestinian workers. The terrorists are “looking for the rear, the crossings, the short contact with the security forces,” he added. 

Terrorist attacks have come less for ideological reasons in recent years and more for personal reasons, said Alsheich. “It can be anyone who has decided they’ve had enough.”

The police have yet to make a decision on how to deal with Palestinian workers with entry permits after the attack. “We will not make radical decisions” because it is part of the fabric of life, said Alsheich.