JERUSALEM: Israel on Thursday imposed a series of sweeping restrictions on Palestinian movement and deployed hundreds of additional troops to the West Bank in response to a Tel Aviv attack that killed four Israelis.
The shooting, carried out by two West Bank Palestinians, targeted a crowded tourist and restaurant district in the heart of Tel Aviv and was among the deadliest and most brazen attacks in a nine-month wave of violence. The area is located across the street from the Israeli military’s headquarters.
As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prepared to meet with his security cabinet to discuss further responses, the Israeli military announced that it was deploying two additional battalions to the West Bank “in accordance with situation assessments.” The deployment, involving hundreds of troops, includes soldiers from infantry and special forces units.
After the meeting, Netanyahu’s office said officials “were updated on intelligence and operational activity by the security services over the past 24 hours.”
Earlier Thursday, defence officials suspended tens of thousands of special permits given to Palestinians to visit Israel during the current Muslim holy month of Ramzan. COGAT, an Israeli defence body, said 83,000 permits for Palestinian sin the West Bank to visit relative sin Israel had been frozen. Special Ram zan permits were also suspended for Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to visit relatives in Israel, travel abroad and attend prayers at the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, COGAT said.
Israel considers the Ramzan permits a goodwill gesture toward Palestinians. In addition, the military said it had frozen Israeli work permits for 204 of the attackers’ relatives, and was preventing Palestinians from leaving and entering the West Bank village of Yatta, the Tel Aviv attackers’ home village.