Security authorities have been instructed to engage in an unconstrained battle against terrorists in the wake of the latest terror wave, Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Thursday morning in a meeting with President Moshe Katsav in Jerusalem.
"Our region is infested with terror, we are fighting terror, and therefore in accordance with clear instructions I issued to security forces, there is no longer any limit on them in all matters related to actions to thwart (terror) both in Gaza and in Judea and Samaria," Olmert said. "This activity is taking place successfully and without hesitation."
Responding to a question by a Ynet reporter, the acting PM said: "I have no intention to meet with (Hamas leader) Ismail Haniyeh, but I intend to fight terror if he will be involved in it."
Meanwhile, President Katsav said all political parties agree that no talks should be held with Hamas unless it meets the three conditions set out by Israel and the international community, namely the renunciation of terror, recognition of Israel, and honoring of past agreements.
Special means to fight terror
In the midst of the current wave of terror attacks, Olmert is trying to convey firmness.
"Already yesterday I issued an order to all the State of Israel's security forces to use special means in order to deal with the first signs of terror activity, signs which are being seen in various areas," he said.
"We will use an iron fist against any attempt to renew terror activities, at any place where this activity is showing first signs. In the Gaza area, as well as in the West Bank, we will use extreme measures on all the routes and roads and in all the security-sensitive areas, and will not hesitate to use any action necessary in order not to allow any terror group to renew terror activities that might hurt Israel's citizens," Olmert added. "No constraints will be placed on security forces in their fight against terror."
When asked if he was aware of an infiltration of al-Qaeda into the territories, the prime minister said that "there are certainly attempts by terror groups, probably international terror groups, to spread their wings to areas in our vicinity."
"I can promise you that Israeli intelligence agencies are following all the attempts of terror groups to infiltrate our area, which is a terror-infested area, and therefore we are fighting. We are systematically boosting our war. There is no restriction on security forces in terms of preventing and foiling terror," he added.
The fourth terror attack in three days occurred Thursday morning, when an Israeli citizen was stabbed at the Atarot industrial zone near Jerusalem. The man sustained light to moderate wounds and was evacuated to the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital.
The man, a truck driver, arrived at a chicken plant in the industrial zone to unload merchandize. He opened the truck doors when suddenly a young Palestinian charged at him, stabbed him in the neck, and escaped, leaving the knife behind.
Security forces were dispatched to the scene and proceeded to scour the area in search of the assailant with the aid of a chopper.