deadly attack near Eli
deadly attack near EliFlash 90

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich today (Wednesday) agreed on the immediate promotion of the planning of approximately 1,000 new housing units in the settlement of Eli in Binyamin, a day after terrorists murdered four civilians in a shooting attack at a gas station and restaurant just outside the community.

Gallant, Smotrich and Netanyahu said in a joint announcement by the Prime Minister's Office that "our response to terrorism is to hit it hard and build on our land."

National Missions Orit Strock (Religious Zionism party) welcomed the announcement: "1000 more Jewish families in the place where Jewish lives were cut short. Every terrorist must know that this was the Zionist price tag for murdering Jews. In the place from where they try to uproot us - there we will deepen our roots. Not instead of eliminating the terrorists, not instead of the checkpoints, and not instead of drying up the terror swamp. But absolutely, as a necessary and clear Zionist step.''

Gush Etzion Mayor and Yesha Council Chairman Shlomo Ne’eman also praised the announcement, saying: “To those who wish us harm, know that we are here to stay.”

Ne’eman added: “We thank Prime Minister Netanyahu, Defense Minister Gallant and Finance Minister Smotrich for a proper Zionist answer. Terrorism will not defeat us. We will continue to live and flourish in the land of our ancestors."

Not all were happy with the government's response. Binyamin Regional Council chairman Yisrael Gantz moved his office to the scene of yesterday's attack in protest against the government's security policies. Gantz said: "We must return to an uncompromising offensive policy, enter the nests of terror and strike at the heads of the snakes there. The government should lead this policy and direct the IDF and the security system to formulate an immediate operational plan."

"The government of Israel is responsible for the security of its citizens and it is its duty to launch an attack and not wait, God forbid, for more casualties and for the terrorists to continue to strengthen. We will do our duty in establishing the settlement. We will develop a lively and happy life here in the heart of the Land of Israel," he said.

Meanwhile, the four victims of yesterday's attack were laid to rest overnight Tuesday and Wednesday.

The victims were identified as Harel Masoud, a 21-year-old resident of Yad Binyamin; Elisha Antman, a 18-year-old resident of Eli; Ofer Fairman, a 63-year-old resident of Eli; and Nachman Shmuel Mordoff, a 15-year-old resident of Ahiya.