Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said the Hamas-led Palestinian government is responsible for Thursday’s terror attack in Kedumim, in which four Israelis lost their lives.
“A government that is committed to terror and instructs its security forces not to combat terror is responsible or this attack and any other attack that emanates from its territory,” Mofaz said.
“Israeli will not ignore attacks on its citizens and will respond harshly.”
Mofaz has instructed the security establishment to step up its anti-terror activity and act in a widespread manner against terror hubs in Gaza and the West Bank.
A senior officer told the IDF Friday evening that "starting yesterday we decided to expand the operation policy against terror groups involved in firing Qassams at Israel."
"Yesterday evening, a Qassam was fired near posts of Palestinian police officers in the northern Strip, and now we will operate decisively.
According to the officer, "the Palestinian security organizations are not doing a thing and are not thwarting the operation of terror organizations. IDF's operation against the Qassams will be broad and will include a strike in the entire Strip and not only in open areas."
Referring to the Hamas government, the officer said: "Anyone who implements, sends and finances terror is considered a target."
The Southern Command, headed by Major-General Yoav Galant, has prepared in the past few weeks several different plans for operations against the Qassams. Thwarting has become the focus of this operation, including operating the Israel Air Force if needed.
Ties in Gaza cut off completely
On Friday, IDF officers in the Gaza Strip and their Palestinian counterparts cut all ties after the Preventive Security Apparatus was subjugated to a Hamas member, the internal security minister.
The senior officer added that "in Gaza ties have been cut off completely and unequivocally on all levels. However, in the West Bank the issue will be examined. In this area the IDF had freedom of action also inside the cities, and if the Palestinian security officers become Hamas' responsibility, we will also not hold any talks with them."
The officer also referred to the internal struggles inside the Palestinian Authority, saying that the organizations have lost control and are fighting each other.
"This is manifested also in terror activities against Israel. Organizations that have been relatively calm until now are starting to operate in a bid to carry out attacks."
He referred to the city of Nablus which is resuming its terror activities.
"Terror infrastructures that have been dormant are arousing thanks to the flow of funds from the Islamic Jihad in Damascus and from Hizbullah," he said.
'A speech of concessions'
Raffie and Helena Halevy, 60, were killed along with 20-year-old Reut Feldman and 16-year-old Shaked Lesker when a Palestinian suicide bomber disguised as a haredi blew himself up in their car.
The al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack, but IDF officials estimate it was a joint effort on the part of Fatah and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Kedumim council leader Daniela Weiss blamed Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for the attack, saying “Olmert’s victory speech is a speech of concessions. The policy of running away from terror brings murderousness.”
“Olmert’s pullout plan will fuel murder. The Palestinians will try to push us through terror attacks. They are expediting Olmert after they saw the concessions that Ariel Sharon did and the concessions that Olmert will do. It is not a coincidence that the attack took place after the election,” she said.