Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett speaks at a news conference on an Israeli Defense Force base in Beit El in the West Bank, Tuesday, April 5, 2022. (MAYA ALLERUZZO / AP)
JERUSALEM/RAMALLAH – Israeli security forces have been given a free hand to fight against deadly attacks by Palestinian militants, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said on Friday, hours after a deadly shooting that killed two people in Tel Aviv.
"Our security forces have complete freedom of action and there will be no limitations in this war," Bennett said in a press conference, alongside Defense Minister Benny Gantz and Minister of Public Security Omer Bar-Lev.
The press conference was held shortly after the assailant was found and killed by Israeli security forces south of Tel Aviv.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the killing of Israelis and Palestinians, saying the cycle of violence would only escalate the tension between Palestinians and Israelis.
Our security forces have complete freedom of action and there will be no limitations in this war.
Naftali Bennett, Prime Minister, Israel
Thursday's shooting was the fourth in a wave of attacks against Israelis in recent weeks that killed 13 people in total.
"This is a difficult and challenging period," Bennett added, "It may also be prolonged."
The rise in tensions comes at a sensitive period as the Muslim holy month of Ramadan commenced earlier this week and the Jewish holiday of Passover will begin next week.
Thousands of Palestinians from the West Bank are expected to enter Jerusalem on Friday for the first Friday prayer of Ramadan at the Al-Aqsa mosque.
Israel controls the entrance to Jerusalem and the holy sites in the historic city. During heightened security tensions, Israel often restricts access to prayers at the mosque. Thus far, Israeli security forces have not announced an intention to impose such restrictions this year.
'Cycle of violence'
After Thursday's shooting of the two people in Tel Aviv, President Abbas said in a press statement, “Killing Israelis and Palestinians is condemned, and would only lead to more deterioration and tension.”
"Everyone seeks stability," he added.
The president also said that the Israeli storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem and the provocative actions of the extreme Israeli settlers against the Palestinians are dangerous.
"The cycle of violence confirms that permanent, comprehensive, and just peace is the shortest and sound way to provide security and stability for Palestinians, Israelis and the region," he added.
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