Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Wednesday night called on all Israeli citizens who are licensed to carry a weapon, to do so.
The statement followed a series of three deadly terror attacks — in Be’er Sheva, Hadera and Bnei Brak — within a seven-day period, the most recent taking place Tuesday night.
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Police officers were among the victims in two of the attacks.
Following is the complete transcript of Bennett’s remarks, among the most serious to be delivered since Operation Guardian of the Walls, the war with Hamas that took place last May.
“Citizens of Israel, we are currently experiencing a wave of murderous terrorism and, just like in all the previous waves, we will prevail, together.
In the last 24 hours, the security establishment has been acting with full force to restore security to Israel’s cities and a feeling of security for you, the citizens.
The IDF, the ISA and the Israel Police have significantly increased their intelligence operations in order to reach, in a timely manner, those who are planning to carry out attacks. We have also reinforced the presence throughout the country of those in uniform and those carrying weapons.
From my point-of-view, there is no limit on resources.
The Israel Police has moved to working in an emergency capacity. At the same time, the IDF will be reinforcing the police, with 15 companies of our best soldiers.
We are also calling up Border Police companies. There are two new companies and another company in the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip.
Also, we have decided to establish the ‘Border Police Brigade’ – which is new. This is a strategic move, beyond the current wave of terrorism, as a lesson from Operation Guardians of the Walls.
We established an immediate response motorcycle unit; this is the force that eliminated the terrorist in Bnei Brak last night.
As of now, our forces have carried out more than 200 investigation or arrest operations. The home of the terrorist in Ya’bad has already been mapped for demolition – and we are working to demolish it as soon as possible in order to create deterrence.
My directive is to be in contact with everyone who has had a previous connection with ISIS, simply to go to these people and carry out whatever action necessary, including preventive arrest.
We are also expediting the collection of illegal weapons in the Arab sector, which has accumulated an incredible amount over many years. Now is the time to clean this up.
The IDF has reinforced its units in Judea and Samaria and along the seam line with 15 battalions, a very considerable force.
As of now, soldiers in mandatory, career and reserve service, from rifle-level 3 and up, will carry their weapons home from their bases.
We are also currently evaluating a larger framework to involve civilian volunteers who want to help and be of assistance.
What is expected of you, citizens of Israel? Alertness and responsibility. Open your eyes. Whoever has a license to carry a weapon, this is the time to carry it.
I would like to note the heroism and courage of police officer the late Amir Khoury, whose father I spoke with. Amir engaged the terrorist last night and paid with his life. We will remember him always.
Citizens of Israel, this is neither our first nor our second wave of terrorism. We have experience with struggle. Israeli society, when it is tested, knows how to show composure, remain resilient and rise to the occasion. We cannot be broken.
I would like to express my deepest appreciation for the Israel Police officers, IDF soldiers and ISA personnel, who are working 24/7 and are giving their hearts and souls in order to restore the security to us all.