The Israeli minister for military affairs, Benny Gantz, says the Tel Aviv regime is currently witnessing a difficult security situation, as tensions have risen over the past week after a string of operations by Palestinians in the West Bank and elsewhere across the occupied territories.
“We are witnessing a difficult period of conflict, and the fact is that we cannot surrender,” Ganz was quoted as saying by Russia's RT Arabic television news network on Saturday evening. “We are handling the matter with great strength and seriousness.”
He added, “Relevant security authorities are currently considering possible steps towards the Palestinian population during the month of Ramadan at the same time as increasing security measures.”
“Recently, we are promoting, in coordination with the Palestinian Authority, a series of steps aimed at improving the quality of life and the economy in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip,” Gantz claimed.
“But in light of the deteriorating security situation, we will not be able to continue working on implementing them except with the return of calm and security,” he further claimed.
On Saturday, Israeli security forces killed three Palestinian men in the occupied West Bank. The Israeli police said the men were “killed in a shoot-out”, in the predawn incident.
Palestinian media reported a statement by the Islamic Jihad resistance movement, where it confirmed the killing of three members of its armed wing, al-Quds Brigades, by Israeli forces.
The Palestinian group named the three men as Khalil Tawalbeh, 24, from Jenin, Saif Abu Libdeh, 25, from Tulkarm, and Saeb Abahra, 30, from Jenin.
Sources in the Palestinian emergency services said that the Israeli forces have kept the bodies of the three men and refused to hand them over to their families.
On Tuesday night, a Palestinian man identified as Diaa Hamarsheh killed five people, including a policeman, before being shot dead in the ultra-orthodox town of Bnei Brak east of Tel Aviv.
On Sunday, two Palestinian gunmen killed two Israeli forces and wounded four others in a retaliatory shooting operation in the city of Hadera, in the northern part of Israeli-oocupied territories, before being shot dead.
That followed an attack on March 22, when a Palestinian man was fatally shot over an alleged stabbing attack near a shopping center in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba, which left four Israeli settlers dead.
In recent days, some 11 Israelis, including officers, were killed in three separate operations inside the Israeli-occupied territories by Palestinians in a surge of violence not witnessed in years.
Tensions first escalated across the Palestinian territories on February 13, when Israeli forces and illegal settlers renewed their attacks against Palestinians in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of the occupied al-Quds.
The neighborhood has been the scene of frequent crackdowns by Israeli regime forces on the Palestinians protesting against the threatened expulsion of dozens of families from their homes in favor of Israeli settler groups.