In the wake of the drive-by shooting of Rabbi Raziel Shevach, Hy”d, on Tuesday night, security measures in Yehudah and Shomron were ramped up and a search for the murderer continued.
Overnight, security forces set up roadblocks and ordered the closure of Palestinian villages in the vicinity of Shechem in a massive manhunt.
IDF Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot visited the scene of the attack Wednesday morning.
“The main task at the moment is to locate the cell and to prevent it from carrying out further attacks,” Eisenkot said.
Outrage over the murder was nationwide.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu issued a statement pledging that Israeli “security forces will do everything possible in order to reach the foul murderer, and the State of Israel will bring him to justice.”
Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) called on the Defense Ministry to respond in a “significant” way.
“Can we think about going back to our routines? Everyone understands that something has happened, and we can’t go back to what was two days ago,” he said on Channel 2.
“These things are in the hands of the Defense Minister. These are his instructions to the military and Civil Administration. Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) spoke in the past about ‘the carrot and the stick.’ We are waiting for him to use the ‘stick’ and maybe he should have done it before now.
“We can exile the families from their homes, we can destroy the homes of terrorists who carried out attacks — and I trust that the Defense Minister will take action. He has widespread support from the Israeli public. No one agrees to or is ready to accept this terror.”
In response, Liberman said: “Security forces are currently working to capture the terrorists who murdered Rabbi Raziel Shevach last night. I feel his widow Yael’s deep pain, and that of his six orphans. I have ordered Defense Ministry leaders to provide aid to the family and to other Havat Gilad residents.
“In addition, I have requested the government examine the option of legalizing Havat Gilad and turning it into a proper town.”
Hananel Dorani, chairman of the Yesha Council, said following the attack that “full and direct responsibility lies with the Palestinian Authority, which gives life to this terrorism and pays terrorists.”
“The terrorist who killed Rabbi Raziel Shevach, Hy”d, were familiar with Mahmoud Abbas’s ‘Palestinian terror price list’ and knew how much money they would be paid for the murder,” Education Minister and Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett wrote on Twitter Wednesday morning.
“The formal recognition and construction of Havat Gilad is the most effective deterrent to exact payment from terrorists and prevent future murders,” he wrote.
There was anger and reports of violent retaliation on Wednesday.
Jewish demonstrators arrived during the IDF chief’s visit to the scene of the killing in the morning, where they called out: “Eizenkot! Why do we deserve this?”; “Bring back the checkpoints!” and “We warned you in advance — why didn’t you blockade Shechem?”
Palestinian cars were targeted by rock-throwers near the Yitzhar and Shiloh junctions south of Shechem, Channel 10 news reported. Similar incidents were reported in the nearby villages of Asira al-Qibliya, Jalud and Burin. Four people were lightly wounded by the rocks, Palestinians said.
The IDF said it was acting to disperse the rock-throwers.
MK Bezalel Smotrich (Jewish Home) party said that “if they don’t want the grieving public to take the law into its own hands, then the system needs to do something” about Palestinian violence.