TEL AVIV, Israel – Israel will increase security and “strengthen settlements” in response to gun attacks in Jerusalem on Friday and Saturday that killed seven Israelis and seriously wounded five others, Prime Minister Benjamin said on Saturday. Netanyahu.

“In response to the abominable attacks and the celebrations that followed, Prime Minister Netanyahu has decided to take steps to strengthen the settlements to be unveiled this week,” a statement from Israel’s political and security cabinet late Saturday.

The statement laid out a six-point list of measures to «combat terrorism and exact a price from terrorists and their supporters,» including easing rules on the sale of firearms to Israeli citizens and strengthening military powers. and police.

The list also included a series of punitive measures for Palestinians, including the revocation of national insurance rights and benefits to «families of terrorists» and proposals to deny identity documents to «families of terrorists who support terrorism.»

«Our response will be strong, swift and precise,» Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the opening of the cabinet meeting on Saturday. «Whoever tries to hurt us, we will hurt him, and anyone who helps him.»

In an atmosphere of heightened tension on Sunday, the Israel Defense Forces said it had fatally shot a Palestinian man carrying a gun outside a West Bank settler community.

Israeli officers cordoned off the Jerusalem family home of a Palestinian gunman on Sunday who killed seven people and wounded three, a police spokesman said on Saturday, adding that the gunman’s relatives and relatives had also been arrested. . The attack took place in front of a synagogue on International Holocaust Remembrance Day and sparked international condemnation and fears of a spiral of violence.

On Saturday, two people were allegedly injured in a separate gun attack in east Jerusalem by a Palestinian shooter in his teens. Police said they shot and overpowered the 13-year-old shooter who was taken to hospital on a stretcher.

The weekend of violence follows an Israeli raid in the West Bank on Thursday that killed at least nine Palestinians, the deadliest Israeli raid in the area in two decades. In response, Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired rockets at Israel, which in turn triggered retaliatory Israeli airstrikes. At least 32 Palestinians have been killed in fighting in January so far.

The attacks present a challenge to recently re-elected Netanyahu, who on Sunday visited those wounded in Friday’s attack at two Jerusalem hospitals.

He has built a governing coalition with the Jewish Power and Religious Zionism parties, which oppose a Palestinian state and are aligned with the hardline settlement movement in the West Bank. Netanyahu could find himself under pressure from cabinet members to take even tougher action, risking further violence and potentially involving the Hamas militant group in Gaza.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, a member of the far-right Jewish Power party, said on Twitter on Saturday that he would introduce new death penalty laws for terror acts to the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, next week.

Israel has seen weeks of democracy protests throughout January as a result of government proposals to weaken the Supreme Court, making it more difficult for the body to overturn laws it considers unconstitutional. Netanyahu’s government says judges and legal advisers have too much influence over law and governance. Critics argue that the plan will upend Israel’s system of checks and balances on government power, stripping it of judicial oversight.

At protests in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv on Saturday night, protesters held a moment of silence for the victims of the Jerusalem shooting. In Tel Aviv, some carried banners describing Netanyahu and Ben-Gvir as «a threat to world peace.»

“We are here to protect Israeli democracy in order to protect both Palestinian and Israeli citizens so that there will be fewer terrorist attacks like this, because if we don’t have the Supreme Court then we won’t have a democracy so we think these terrorist attacks will be more and more. again,» Anat Shalam told Reuters at a rally in Jerusalem.

Events over the weekend cast a shadow over a diplomatic visit by US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, who is scheduled to speak with Israeli and Palestinian leaders on Monday.

The Biden administration opposes the construction of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which are territories the Palestinians want to use to build a future state.

Leila Sackur reported from London; Paul Goldman reported from Tel Aviv.

Associated Press Y Reuters contributed.