National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir on Friday afternoon said he had instructed the Commissioner of Israel Police and senior officials in the Jerusalem District to prepare for "Operation Defensive Shield 2 in eastern Jerusalem" starting on Sunday.
"The purpose of the operation is to fight and root out terrorism, to reach the terrorists' homes and to stop terrorism before it comes to carry out attacks," said a statement issued by Ben Gvir’s office.
The statement, which was published just before the start of Shabbat in Israel, followed the deadly terrorist attack in the Ramot neighborhood of Jerusalem, in which two people were murdered and five were injured.
Operation Defensive Shield was a large 2002 IDF counterterrorism operation in Judea and Samaria which was carried out amidst the Second Intifada and lasted for just over a month.
Ben Gvir’s statement was denounced by senior government officials, as it was issued on his own initiative, without consultation with other elements in the defense establishment.
“Decisions about an 'Operation Defensive Shield' are not made on a sidewalk at a bus stop when there is an attack," said a senior political source on Friday afternoon.
"A decision on such an operation will at least be made after consultation with the entire defense establishment, it will certainly be brought to the cabinet if required. The Prime Minister can make any decision - and he will do it after an orderly discussion, the cabinet will be convened - there are ways in which a country conducts itself," the official said.
A defense official stressed that Ben Gvir’s words "were not coordinated with the Prime Minister or the Minister of Defense".
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered security forces to crack down on any possible abettors of the terrorist who carried out the deadly ramming attack in Jerusalem.
He directed that units in the area be reinforced and that investigations and arrests be carried out immediately in the terrorist's circle.
In addition, Netanyahu has decided to take immediate action to seal and demolish the home of the terrorist.
The terrorist, 31-year-old Hussein Karaka, a resident of the Issawiya neighborhood of eastern Jerusalem and an Israeli-Arab carrying full citizenship, was eliminated during the attack.
(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)