IAF Strikes Back at Gaza as Gov’t Prepares Response to Terror Wave

YERUSHALAYIM -
A Palestinian man inspects the site of an Israeli air strike in Gaza City July 2, 2016. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa
A Palestinian man inspects the site of an Israeli air strike in Gaza City July 2, 2016. (Reuters/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)

Israel Air Force planes struck at Gaza in response to a rocket attack on a Sderot kindergarten, as the security cabinet prepared to meet to decide on responses to the terror attacks of recent days.

The levayah of Michael Mark, Hy”d, who was murdered Friday when his car crashed as the result of a shooting attack near Chevron, is set to take place Sunday. The levayah will likely take place in Yerushalayim. Mark’s wife, Chavah, is still hospitalized in serious condition in Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital. The IDF imposed a closure on all towns and villages in the Chevron area Friday, including the city itself, and that closure was still in effect Motzoei Shabbos. Several dozen suspects have been arrested as the army continues the search for the terror gang that opened fire on the Mark family as they drove along Road 60.

Later on Motzoei Shabbos, the security cabinet was set to meet to discuss possible responses to the Mark murder, as well as to the two terror attacks that occurred Thursday, in Netanya and in Kiryat Arba, the latter of which saw Hallel Yaffa Ariel, Hy”d, 13, murdered by a 17-year-old Arab terrorist as she slept. At the meeting, Education Minister Naftali Bennett is expected to present a comprehensive plan, based on the actions of the IDF in the second intifada, to break up the terror infrastructure in the Chevron area. The plan would include the immediate demolition of thousands of units built illegally by Arabs in the area. Bennett will also demand that advanced data services be halted in the Chevron area, to prevent Arabs from using social media to incite others to murder.

After the attack, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman visited the site of the terror incident, and said that Israel had already taken “more extensive steps against terrorism than have been taken for a long time,” and he was prepared to go further. Thousands of work permits have been rescinded, dozens of Arabs were arrested, and the government planned to withhold funds from the Palestinian Authority equal in value to the amount it pays the families of terrorists killed in the course of their attacks. In addition, Liberman said that he had already authorized the construction of 42 new housing units in Kiryat Arba, as a message to the terrorists that “every attack will just strengthen our resolve.”