Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Wednesday evening told Israelis who have a license for a firearm, "this is the time to carry a weapon," as the country faces its worst spate of terrorist attacks in years.
The premier issued the call in a video statement from his home in Ra'anana where he is quarantined due to coronavirus infection.
At the opening of a meeting of the high-level State Security Cabinet, Bennett announced the establishment of a new Border Police brigade to help tackle the emerging terror threat. He then said he had ordered the defense forces to "look into anyone who ever had anything to do with the Islamic State."
Two of the three most recent attacks were carried out by Arab Israeli citizens who were previously convicted and served prison sentences for their connections to the vicious Islamist group.
"Citizens of Israel, these days we are experiencing a murderous wave of terror, and as with all previous waves — we will overcome, together," said Bennett. "Over the past 24 hours, defense forces have been working at full throttle to restore security to the cities of Israel and a sense of security for the citizens."
According to Bennett, the IDF, the Israel Police, and the Shin Bet security agency were all put on high alert, and have significantly increased intelligence-gathering efforts in a bid to foil impending attacks.
Israel has increased its security presence in Israeli cities and in the West Bank. Bennett added that "as far as I'm concerned, there's no resource limit."
All in all, an extra 12 battalions will be deployed to run routine security operations around the West Bank and two others around the Gaza Strip in a bid to nip at the bud any terrorist activity brewing under the surface.
"So far, Israel's defense forces have carried out more than 200 arrests or interrogations. And the house of the Bnei Brak terrorist in Ya'bad [in the northern West Bank] has been set up for demolition, and we are working to raze it as quickly as possible to create deterrence," Bennett said.
"And what do we expect from the citizens of Israel? Vigilance and responsibility, and keep your eyes peeled," Bennett said.