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Israel shocked by Islamic State-inspired terror attack

Israel’s security agencies were blindsided when the killer of four civilians in Beersheba this week turned out to be an Israeli citizen from the nearby Bedouin town of Hura.

Israel has been gearing up for a two-week-long perfect storm: the convergence of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan (beginning April 2), the Palestinian observance of Land Day March 31, a day of protests over land expropriation, and the Jewish holiday of Passover, which falls this year on April 15.

Israeli security forces and political leaders have drawn up appropriate responses for the upcoming dates. Defense Minister Benny Gantz prepared an extensive package of incentives and benefits for the Palestinian Authority that includes construction permits for Palestinian homes in the West Bank, money transfers and additional Israeli work permits for Palestinian laborers. The military has been instructed to suspend all demolitions of illegally built Palestinian and Arab housing, avoid provocative actions and try to limit friction with residents to the extent possible. Similar guidelines were drawn up with regard to extremist groups of Jewish settlers in the West Bank.

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