'The fighters were surprised, we will learn lessons'

Head of IDF's Judea and Samaria Division speaks at site of Givat Assaf attack.

Hezki Baruch,

Head of Judea and Samaria brigade with MKs
Head of Judea and Samaria brigade with MKs
Hezki Baruch

The Commanding Officer of the Judea and Samaria Division, Brig. Gen. Eran Niv, on Sunday toured the scene of the attack at the Givat Assaf junction with members of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

"The fighters in this case were surprised and unfortunately we were unable to produce the response that would subdue the terrorist," the senior officer told the Knesset members, from both the coalition and the opposition, who were present at the tour.

"Our mission in future incidents - and part of it can already be seen in the field after lessons have been learned - is that the next time it happens, we will succeed in preventing the attack, and if not in preventing it then intervening and reduce the damage.”

Brig. Gen. Niv reminded the Knesset members that soldiers are stationed at the main junctions around Judea and Samaria around the clock. "It's a very difficult task, these soldiers work here every day throughout the day to protect the civilians and sometimes to stop the terrorists with their own bodies. We support them and are bringing them back to a situation in which they will succeed in fulfilling this mission, which is hard and grinding."

Most of the terrorist attacks, he said, are prevented by nightly activity in Palestinian Arab villages and towns. "We defeat terror not with the soldiers who are stationed here. Those who are here deal with the terror that has succeeded in passing us. Most of the terror, more than 90% of terrorism, we thwart overnight in the depth of the territory.”

"The Binyamin Brigade for the past week, every night between tens and hundreds of fighters, operates inside the area in order to foil the terrorists, stop weapons, seize terrorist funds, destroy the home of a terrorist in a refugee camp, all of these things are done because we believe that the way of thwarting is the way to fight terrorism,” added Niv.


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