Photo Credit: Amos Ben Gershom / GPO
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at changeover ceremony between IDF Chief of Staff and IDF Deputy Chief of Staff

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who also currently holds the Defense portfolio, decided Thursday after a security assessment to reinforce IDF forces on the roads and at checkpoints throughout Judea and Samaria.

The move comes in the wake of multiple terror attacks that have killed and/or wounded 14 Israelis this week alone. Among those was a 21-year-old pregnant mother whose baby had to be delivered prematurely by emergency Caesarean section due to multiple gunshot wounds; the wounded baby died just a few days later. Among the dead were two IDF soldiers who were murdered Thursday; two soldiers and an Israeli Border Guard Police officer were wounded.

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Gaza’s Hamas terrorist organization has praised the attackers in each case, calling their actions “heroic.” On Thursday issued a call for more attacks in Judea and Samaria,

Netanyahu warned Israel would launch military action in Gaza if the security escalation continues in Judea and Samaria.

A political source quoted by the Hebrew-language edition of Israel Hayom said the message conveyed to Hamas on behalf of the Israeli government was: “We will act against you if you use terror from Judea and Samaria.”

Following the security assessments and consultations, Netanyahu ordered:

* Accelerated demolition of terrorists’ homes (to start within 48 hours);

* Continued efforts to apprehend the murderers and dismantle the infrastructures from which they set out;

* Increased administrative detention of Hamas militants in Judea and Samaria;

* Reinforcement of IDF units in Judea and Samaria;

* Reinforcement of protection along roads and placement of checkpoints on roads in Judea and Samaria; and

* Placing a cordon around El-Bireh and revoking permits of family members of terrorists and their accomplices.

Prime Minister Netanyahu also decided this evening to legalize thousands of homes in communities in Judea and Samaria that were built in good faith and which have yet to be legalized, some for decades.

“The foregoing will enable thousands of residents to have public, educational and religious structures, the construction of which has not been possible for decades,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a release.

Netanyahu asked Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit to take legal steps to facilitate the construction of 82 new residential units in Ofra.

The prime minister said he is also advancing the construction of two new industrial zones, near Avnei Hefetz and Betar Ilit.

“They think they can uproot us from our land,” Netanyahu said. They will not succeed.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.