Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant both pointed the finger at Iran on Monday, blaming the Islamic Republic for the uptick in terrorist attacks, including a deadly attack earlier in the day.
“First, I would like to send my condolences to Batsheva’s family, may G-d avenge her, a devoted mother of three children who was killed in such a brutal manner near Hebron today. I would also like to send my best wishes for recovery to the man who was wounded; we are all praying for his wellbeing,” Netanyahu said.
Batsheva Nigri’s six-year-old daughter, who was in the car at the time, was physically unharmed in the drive-by shooting, which took place near the Beit Hagai junction in the southern Hebron Hills. Nigri was working as a kindergarten teacher in nearby Beit Hagai. She succumbed to her grievous wounds within minutes after the attack.
The man with whom she was driving, 39-year-old Aryeh Leib, was seriously wounded. He was taken to Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva, where he underwent emergency surgery.
Netanyahu and Gallant held a situation assessment at the site of the attack together with IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi, Shin Bet Director Ronen Bar, and senior IDF officials.
“We are in the midst of a terrorist assault encouraged, directed and financed by Iran and its proxies,” Netanyahu said.
“We are working around the clock, all commanders and all soldiers, to apprehend both the murderers and those who try to murder Israeli citizens. As of today, we have caught them all and we will catch these as well.”
Netanyahu emphasized — as did Gallant — that external forces are deeply involved in the current wave of terrorism faced by Israelis.
“It must be understood that a considerable portion of this terrorist wave comes as a result of outside guidance. We are using means, and we will use yet more, both offensive and defensive, to settle accounts with the murderers and those who dispatch them, near and far,” Netanyahu said.
“I would like to give full backing to the commanders and soldiers who are working day and night to protect the residents in order to protect us all, and we must all back them.”
Gallant promised that Israeli forces would capture the terrorists responsible for murdering the 42-year-old Efrat woman and seriously wounding the 39-year-old man with whom she was driving.
Gallant also warned that Iran is responsible for the recent rise in terror attacks.
“On behalf of Israel’s defense establishment, I would like to send my sincere condolences to the families of those who were murdered and wounded,” Gallant said.
He emphasized that Iran is largely responsible for the recent uptick in deadly terrorist attacks.
“It is important to understand the significant change that is taking place on the ground: it is related to Iranian funding, and to the proliferation of weapons under the Iranian directive,” Gallant said.
“Iran seeks every means to harm the citizens of Israel.”
The minister promised that Israeli forces will reach the terrorists. He added that the government “will take additional action in order to ensure the security of Israel’s citizens, while exacting a price from those responsible for any harm.”