The Israeli government’s cabinet yesterday chose to collectively punish Palestinians after the attack carried out by two Palestinian youths in Tel Aviv on Thursday evening.
The cabinet adopted a group of decisions, the most notable of which are the complete closure of the town Yatta where the perpetrators of the attack came from, the demolition of their families’ houses, the withdrawal of 204 work permits issued to their relatives, the suspension of tens of thousands of work permits issued by the government that allowed 83,000 Palestinians from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to visit Israel during the holy month of Ramadan, the completion of the barrier south of the West Bank and the strengthening of the Israeli army’s military forces in the West Bank by adding two units to it. Other secret decisions were also taken, and they are believed to relate to assassinations.
The perpetrators of the attack, two young men in their twenties, entered a restaurant near the Ministry of Defence in Tel Aviv, had a meal and then opened fire on customers, killing four Israelis. They were later arrested by security forces after one of them was injured by the forces.
The Defense Minister of Israel Avigdor Lieberman said that “This is a cowardly killing that was committed against innocent people, and it is an additional attempt to harm the fabric of life in the state of Israel”. This attack is considered the first direct challenge that Lieberman has faced in his new role.
The Tel Aviv attack is the first to occur in three months after the murder of an American tourist who was stabbed to death in Jaffa Port. There has been a sharp decline in attacks and the number of people injured in the period between the two incidents.