Ben-Gvir: ‘Defensive Shield 2’ on the horizon

Public Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir requests massive operation aimed at ‘rooting out terror nests,’ but it’s unclear if the Security Cabinet will approve.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Public Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir is advocating for a massive security operation in eastern Jerusalem aimed at rooting out terrorism, after two terrorist attacks in Jerusalem in a two-week span killed 10 Israelis.

Speaking at the scene of a deadly car-ramming attack in Jerusalem on Friday, Ben-Gvir told Hebrew language media to prepare for “Defensive Shield 2.”

Operation Defensive Shield was a prolonged Israeli military operation lasting some six weeks and primarily focused on terror groups in Jenin.

The operation was carried out in 2002 at the height of the Second Intifada, beginning two days after a Palestinian suicide bomber killed 30 civilians at a hotel in Netanya on the first night of the Passover holiday.

On Friday, Ben-Gvir said that he had ordered security forces to prepare for a wide scale operation “to root our terror nests… and reach the terrorists at their homes.”

A senior government official dismissed Ben-Gvir’s remarks in a statement to Hebrew language media, saying that “decisions of such a scale are not made in statements by one minister or another on a sidewalk at the scene of an attack.”

The official added that “if there is such a decision, it will come after consultation with all the parties and after a cabinet discussion.”

But despite the criticism, Ben-Gvir doubled down on his pledge to implement Defensive Shield 2 in statements to colleagues.

“I certainly have the authority” to implement an operation of this kind, Ben-Gvir told confidants, according to Hebrew language media reports.

“The intention of Operation Protective Shield 2 is not to send tanks into the streets…but to start enforcing the law.”

Israel’s Security Cabinet met on Sunday to discuss a response to the most recent wave of terror in the Jewish State’s capital city.

“The appropriate answer to terrorism is to strike it hard – and deepen our roots in our country even more,” Netanyahu reportedly said at the beginning of the meeting.

It’s unclear if the Security Cabinet will approve an operation of the scale that Ben-Gvir is requesting.