Outgoing Prime Minister Yair Lapid vowed in a lengthy statement Wednesday that Israeli security forces will track down and capture the terrorists who murdered 16-year-old yeshiva student Aryeh Schupak in Jerusalem and wounded 20 other people — and those who less than a day earlier, murdered and then kidnapped the body ofIsraeli Druze teenager Tiran Pero in Jenin.
Israel Police raised the nationwide alert to its second-highest level on Wednesday following a double terrorist attack in the heart of Jerusalem.
“There are many warnings about potential terror attacks,” reported Israel’s Channel 14 News journalist Hillel Biton Rosen, “including potential abductions and shooting attacks.”
After encouraging the public to report “all suspicious items in public places” to police, security personnel have received more than 40 such reports in Jerusalem alone.
After concluding a situation assessment with Defense Minister Benny Gantz, Public Security Minister Omer Barlev, the IDF, the Shin Bet and Israel Police, outgoing Prime Minister Yair Lapid said Wednesday’s attacks were “different from what we have seen in recent years.
“An extensive intelligence effort is now underway that will lead us to find these heinous terrorists, those behind them, and those who provided them with weapons.
“I want to say to the citizens of Israel: We will find them. They can run, they can hide — it won’t help them; the security forces will reach them. If they resist, they will be eliminated. If not, we will punish them to the fullest extent of the law,” Lapid vowed.
“In the situation assessment today, we ordered the reinforcement of forces in the Jerusalem area in the coming days, and to intensify our search in all the relevant areas. The IDF, the ISA and the Israel Police are deployed in the area at this very moment to ensure that there will be no further attacks,” he said.
“The second event is the kidnapping of Tiran Pero – a young man who was supposed to celebrating his 18th birthday tomorrow – who was fatally injured in a car accident in Jenin. I spoke today with Tiran’s father. According to the family’s testimony, the kidnappers entered the hospital, disconnected a child who was fighting for his life from medical equipment, and kidnapped his body.
“Israel has proven in recent months that there is no place and no terrorist that it does not know how to reach, from the Kasbah in Nablus (ed: Shechem), to the refugee camp in Jenin, and other fronts near and far. If Tiran’s body is not returned, the kidnappers will pay a heavy price,” Lapid promised.
“The State of Israel has been dealing with terrorism since the day it was founded. Our enemies need to know that we stand united and strong against them. We are one nation that knows how to stand together against those who seek our demise.”