Israel gearing up for major terror escalation, fears copycat attacks

Defense Minister Yoav Galant says Israel bolstering troop presence, weighing additional punitive measures against terrorists.

By World Israel News Staff

After raising the security alertness level to the highest tier following a deadly shooting attack targeting a Jerusalem synagogue and a second shooting attack against Jews in the Old City hours later, Israeli officials are preparing for more terror attacks.

Kan News reported Sunday that the security establishment fears copycat attacks inspired by the weekend’s shootings, which left 7 people dead and several people seriously wounded.

Security officials fear that the lionization of the perpetrators of Friday and Saturday’s terror attacks, which has seen Palestinians in Gaza and PA-controlled areas of Judea and Samaria celebrating with fireworks and handing out sweets in the streets, has the potential to inspire more attacks.

While Hamas has not claimed responsibility for rockets fired at Israel in recent months, the terror group is working to activate its operatives in Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem, Kan News reported.

In a statement to the media, Defense Minister Yoav Galant said that the government is taking steps to restore calm and clamp down on terror.

“I have instructed the security establishment to increase defense efforts with an emphasis on the area around Jerusalem and to increase deterrence and preventative actions against anyone who is involved in or plans to harm civilians,” Galant said.

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He added that the government is currently looking into additional punitive measures that can be taken against terrorists and their families.

“We will not allow a situation in which a person who receives rights from the State of Israel kills Israeli citizens and remains a resident of the state,” he said, as Israeli government officials are said to be considering stripping terrorists’ families of their citizenship and residency rights.

A security official speaking anonymously told Kan News that Israel is now “in a sensitive and explosive period.”

The official said that the security establishment is carefully planning a “calm and balanced” response, and preparing “correctly and intelligently” in order to stymie of a wave of future attacks.