Meanwhile, an Etzion Bloc council leader said soldiers would separate Palestinian and Jewish residents at the Etzion Junction that has been the site of multiple terror attacks.
“In light of this reality, beginning on the morning of October 29, in accordance with a security assessment, several precautionary measures were taken in order to prevent potential attacks in the future and maintain the safety and well-being of Israelis,” she said.
The Etzion Bloc, a cluster of Jewish settlements south of Jerusalem, has also seen a spate of stabbing attacks. On Wednesday, a Jewish woman was stabbed in the back outside of a supermarket.
The head of the regional council, Davidi Perl, met with the local IDF brigade commander to develop new strategies to prevent future attacks, the council announced in an email to residents on Thursday evening.
“We decided upon a meaningful change in the defense approach for the area surrounding the Gush Etzion Junction,” Perl wrote in the email.
“Additional troops will reinforce the area and will carry out thorough searches. All of these decisions were made with the full support of the [West Bank] division commander and the [Central] Command general, who are in constant contact with me,” Perl said.
“In the past two weeks we have experienced, almost every day, a series of serious terror attacks in the Etzion Bloc. To our dismay, according to our intelligence assessment, we do not see an end in sight and do not identify a decrease in the terrorists’ motivation to attack,” Perl said.
A proposed UN resolution aimed at setting the stage for renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations is almost certain to raise objections from both sides with its calls for a halt to Israeli settlement construction and Palestinian action at the International Criminal Court.
The draft resolution, obtained Thursday by The Associated Press, notes “with alarm the escalating cycle of violence” between Israel and the Palestinians. It declares that a two-state solution, achieved through direct negotiations, is the only path to peace.
New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Murray McCully, whose country is serving a two-year term on the Security Council, told a council meeting last week that recent events “cry out for action.”
The current wave of violence began in mid-September in Jerusalem amid tensions over a sensitive holy site and quickly spread deeper into Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Eleven Israelis have been killed, many of them stabbed to death by Palestinian terrorists, and 58 Palestinians, many of them attackers, have been killed.
The draft resolution demands that Israel and the Palestinians take steps “to end the violence, avoid incitement and protect civilians.” And it calls on both sides to refrain from “provocative acts, including acts which threaten the historic status quo of holy sites in Jerusalem,” including the hilltop compound revered by Muslims and Jews.
“The only way to achieve peace is through direct talks between the parties,” he said. “The best way to reduce tensions in the region is to urge President (Mahmoud) Abbas to accept Prime Minister (Benjamin) Netanyahu’s call to meet with him.”