Israeli Defense Minister Says All Means Legitimate to End Terror Wave

Israel to step up security and bolster combat forces, amid fears of additional terror attacks during Passover and the Muslim holy month of Ramadan

Benny Gantz at Israel's Central Command headquarters on Wednesday
Benny Gantz at Israel's Central Command headquarters on WednesdayCredit: Elad Malka

Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Wednesday that all means are legitimate to end the terror wave Israel is seeing after a series of deadly terror attack that left 11 people dead.

Gantz said that "The State of Israel is under a murderous terror attack," and added that "all means are legitimate to end this wave, and we will utilize any means that we think are proper to use."

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The defense minister added that "if there is a need for it, we will immediately call up thousands of reservists who will crowd the streets together with police, and act in every place in which operational presence is needed." On Wednesday morning, he said, he signed an administrative detention order for citizens and residents who are suspected of terrorism.

He added that he instructed the defense establishment to help the police, "including with equipment, receiving personnel and additional IDF combat forces who will help with different security missions."

Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev said on Wednesday that Israel is entering a sensitive and volatile period in terms of security, due to the overlapping Ramadan and Passover holidays and the wave of terror attacks Israel has faced in the past week. He announced that he bolstered police forces by calling up Border Police reservists and hundreds of volunteers.

"At the end of this difficult week, we are looking ahead to the beginning of the month of Ramadan and the holidays of Nissan," he said, referring to the month on the Jewish calendar. "An intersection of sensitive and volatile events. We have been accustomed to viewing Ramadan as a month in which Israel enters wartime preparedness."

According to Bar-Lev, he intends to draft up to 300 Border Police members to career service, and to broaden the opportunities to volunteer for a civilian guard. "I call on the citizens of the country who care and want to take part in the effort to come and volunteer," he said. "With the help of the IDF, hundreds of soldiers will join existing police units."

He added that he will take care to ensure that "every policeman and policewoman who is active in the field now will receive the means they need; those for protection – from helmets to bulletproof vests, and those for attack – from laser designators to motorcycles." He said that "I have no doubt that the government of Israel will fully support the Israel Police in returning calm to the streets."

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