Israeli paramilitary border police stand next to the family home of a Palestinian gunman who killed several people in an attack on Friday outside a synagogue, in east Jerusalem Sunday, Jan. 29, 2023. AP
The move came after two separate shootings in Jerusalem left seven people dead and five others wounded, following a deadly Israeli raid in the West Bank on Thursday that killed nine Palestinians.
In response, Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired a barrage of rockets into Israel, triggering a series of Israeli airstrikes in response. In all, 32 Palestinians have been killed in fighting this month.
The events mark one of the bloodiest months in the occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem in several years. While the recently approved measures threaten to further raise tensions casting a cloud over a visit next week by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Addressing the Cabinet on Sunday morning, Netanyahu said that "we sealed the home of the terrorist who carried out the horrendous attack in Jerusalem, and his home will be demolished.''
"We are not seeking an escalation, but we are prepared for any scenario. Our answer to terrorism is a heavy hand and a strong, swift and precise response,'' he said.
The police on Sunday released footage of Israeli army engineers welding metal plates over the windows and welding the front door shut as part of the operation in response to Friday night's deadly shooting.
Police said the attacker, identified as a 21-year-old east Jerusalem resident, was killed in a shootout with officers after fleeing the scene in the predominantly ultra-Orthodox east Jerusalem settlement of Neve Yaakov.
On Saturday, a 13-year-old Palestinian boy opened fire elsewhere in east Jerusalem, wounding two Israeli men, paramedics said. The attacker was shot and hospitalized.
Funerals for the victims in Friday's shooting, the deadliest attack on Israelis since 2008, were scheduled to take place Sunday.
Netanyahu's Cabinet also said it plans a series of other punitive measures, including canceling social security benefits for the families of attackers, and would take steps to "strengthen the settlements'' this week as part of the government's response to the weekend's attacks.
Netanyahu said that strengthening settlements in the occupied West Bank was aimed at "sending a message to the terrorists that seek to uproot us from our land that we are here to stay.''
Israel captured the West Bank, along with east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip in the 1967 Mideast war. It has built dozens of settlements, now home to more than 500,000 Jewish settlers, in the decades since.
Most of the international community considers the settlements an obstacle to peace with the Palestinians, who seek the West Bank as the heartland of a future independent state.
In Cairo, Blinken opened his Mideast tour on Sunday and was to speak with students at the American University in the city before holding talks with Egyptian officials on Monday. He was then scheduled to travel to Israel for the most critical leg of the visit for talks with Israeli and Palestinian officials.
*This story was edited by Ahram Online