Gallant meets Yesha leaders
Gallant meets Yesha leadersAriel Hermoni/Defense Ministry

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant arrived today (Wednesday) at the IDF Central Command base in Jerusalem, where he held a situational assessment with senior security officials. Afterward, he met with the leaders of the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria.

During the situational assessment, the Defense Minister received an update on the ongoing hunt for the terrorists who murdered Shai Silas Nigreker and his son Aviad Nir in Huwara on Saturday and issued instructions to the security forces to reinforce the efforts to confiscate illegal weapons throughout Judea and Samaria.

Later, he met with the municipal leaders of Judea and Samaria. He expressed his appreciation for the total backing they gave to the security forces and said that this support is of crucial importance in the eyes of the residents and the soldiers.

Officials who were present at the meeting told Israel National News - Arutz Sheva that Minister Gallant and Major General Yehuda Fuchs claimed that one of the main reasons for the increase in terrorist incidents is the fact that there are too many weapons in Judea and Samaria. The Major General claimed that the IDF is given freedom of action and enters areas where it previously did not operate.

The Judea and Samaria leaders stated during the meeting that they are not interested in telling the IDF what to do, but want a sense of security. They said that when the home front is fearful, the army is weakened, and when the home front is strong, the army is strengthened in turn.

Gallant reiterated that Iranian elements are attempting to foment violence in Judea and Samaria.

IDF officials stated that they did not criticize the leaders of Judea and Samaria in recent days, but those who attacked senior IDF officials following recent terrorist attacks.

During the meeting, Gallant said: "Where there is no army, there is no settlement. And where we did not strengthen the settlements, then we got terrorism." At the end of the meeting, Gallant, in his capacity as commander in chief and director general of the Defense Ministry, promised that the Binyamin Brigade near the settlement of Beit El would be evacuated in order to build 350 housing units on that land, as Prime Minister Netanyahu had previously promised.

Minister Gallant expressed his commitment to strengthening the settlements and reviewed before the municipal the steps currently being taken at the Defense Ministry, including the strengthening of security components, the improvement of infrastructure and roads, the easing of congestion at crossings, and the protection of student transportation vehicles.

Beit El Mayor Shai Alon welcomed the decision: "We thank Defense Minister Yoav Gallant for his decision to strengthen Judea and Samaria during these difficult days and to act actively to add construction and settlement. We longed for the relocation of the Binyamin Brigade so that we could add hundreds of Zionist units and families to the settlement and now we can see it with our eyes. Along with the pressing demand to restore personal security to the residents, to eradicate terrorism, and to collect weapons in terrorist nests around Shechem, Jenin, and their metastases, we welcome the decision to add settlements and lives to those whose lives were cut short by the murderous terrorists. This is the first step to strengthen Judea and Samaria and we call for the approval of the full plan of Finance Minister Smotrich here as well."