Israel's Netanyahu announces new "aggressive" measures in West Bank

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Sunday announced "aggressive" measures against Palestinians in the West Bank, in response to new deadly attacks against Israelis.

"We are using various means, including aggressive measures that we have not used in the past," in fighting terrorism, Netanyahu told his cabinet in Jerusalem.

The new measures include cordoning off the entire Hebron district on the southern West Bank, affecting 700,000 people, he said.

Palestinian gunmen in the Hebron area on Friday shot dead a Jewish rabbi in front of his children in a road ambush. On Thursday, a Palestinian from the area infiltrated the Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba, entered a house and stabbed to death a 13-year-old Israeli girl in her bed.

Netanyahu said the Israeli military had revoked all permits to enter and work in Israel for residents of the Palestinian village of Bani Naim, where the knife attacker and other assailants had come from.

Reinforcements were also securing roads used by settlers in the area, Netanyahu said.

A plan to strengthen security in Kiryat Arba and other settlements in the area would be discussed at the next cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said.

The Israeli military arrested some 13 Palestinians overnight, including the sister of the Kiryat Arba knife attacker, who was being questioned.

Hundreds of people, including President Reuven Rivlin, attended the funeral of Rabbi Michael "Miki" Mark Sunday in the Jewish settlement of Otniel, south of Hebron. The rabbi's wife and two of 10 children were injured in Friday's shooting attack.

Since October, Palestinians have launched scores of attacks, killing some 35 Israelis. More than 220 Palestinians, most of them attackers, have been killed in the same period.

The violence has been dubbed the "knife Intifada (uprising)" or the "Intifada of the individuals," as most assailants have acted on their own without known membership of any militant group, protesting the ongoing Israeli occupation and perceived violations - denied by Israel - at a disputed Jerusalem holy site.

Last update: Sun, 03/07/2016 - 16:12

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