Netanyahu Reassures Abbas Following Attack on Palestinian Taxi

PM, fearing that the attack could spark violence in the West Bank, sends messages to Palestinian leadership saying he views the attack seriously.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent reassuring messages to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas following the fire-bomb attack on a Palestinian taxi on Thursday, saying that he views the incident as being very severe.

Six Palestinians, all members of the same family, were wounded on Thursday after a taxi caught fire while driving by the al-Arub refugee camp near the West Bank settlement of Bat Ayin. According to a police statement, sweeps of the area revealed a second fire bomb ready to be hurled.

Out of fear that the incident would spark violence in the West Bank, Netanyahu's envoy Yitzhak Molcho phoned Abbas and Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

According to the Prime Minister's Office, Molcho told the Palestinian officials that Netanyahu had ordered Israel's security forces to do everything in their power to locate and arrest whoever was responsible for the attack.

Molcho also made it clear that Netanyahu intends to personally oversee the medical care given to the six wounded.

The message sent from Netanyahu to Abbas is considered unusual. Following 'price-tag' attacks against Palestinians and Arabs - such as acts of arson against mosques, for example - Netanyahu only condemned the events.

However, the attack on the Palestinian taxi apparently has the potential to cause an escalation in violence in the West Bank, and so Netanyahu decided on a different response this time.

Israel Police