Amidst increasing tensions between settlers and the defense establishment of the settlement construction freeze, the Yesha Council on Saturday expressed its satisfaction with the IDF's swift retaliation against the Palestinians who executed the lethal shooting attack in the West Bank on Thursday, which left Meir Avshalom Hai of the Shavei Shomron settlement dead.
However, the settlers also warned against the IDF's removal of roadblocks, which they say facilitate the execution of terror attacks.
At the end of Shabbat, some 120 Shavei Shomron residents, together with activists from the Samaria Settlers Committee gathered at the scene of the attack and protested against the removal of roadblocks.
"We must prevent the next murder and close this roadblock again. If the government acts negligently and does not close it again, we will do it ourselves," the settlers said.
A statement issued by the Yesha Council said, "The soldiers and the commanders demonstrated exemplary courage, valor and a fighting spirit. This is the way to fight terror."
The council also conveyed a hint of a warning about the consequences a deal for the release of captive soldier Gilad Shalit might have. "The murderers were released prisoners who returned to terror, and the State of Israel would be wise to internalize the necessary lessons."
Shomron Regional Council head Gershon Mesika said the removal of roadblocks in the regional allowing Palestinian movement prepared the ground for the murder.
"It has been proven once again that when the IDF is allowed to fight terror, it can crush it. Had the roadblocks not been removed, the murder, and the need to strike the terrorists, would have been prevented. I demand the prime minister put an end to this security negligence and immediately close the barriers which were removed in order to prevent more murders and attacks."
IDF lauds PA conduct
Sources in the IDF lauded Saturday the Palestinian security establishment for its conduct following Thursday's shooting ambush, calling the PA forces"determined and impressive."
The sources noted that despite the PA forces' commendable conduct, the IDF had no choice but to independently act on apprehending the three persons responsible for the attack. All three were killed by the IDF during military activity in Nablus Saturday morning.
IDF rejected Palestinian claims according to which there was no reason to kill the three.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina said, "This act proves that Israel is not interested in peace, and is trying to ignite the situation." He added that "Israel is torpedoing the international and American efforts to renew peace talks."
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad also condemned the incident and called the incident "a severe escalation". He expressed hope that the Palestinian people are "not dragged into violence following the Israeli provocation."
Also Saturday, Abu Mahmoud, a senior al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades commander said, "The occupation (Israel) is opening the gates to hell," and vowed to respond "in the language of blood and fire."