"We hope and look forward to achieving true peace, but incitement in the Palestinian Authority must stop," said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in response to the stabbing attack in Afula that left one IDF soldier dead.
"The Authority incites to prejudice and violence against Israelis and Jews in schools, the official media, mosques and several other places in Palestinian society," said the prime minister.
Defense Minister Moshe (Bogie) Ya'alon also responded to Wednesday's stabbing attack in which a Palestinian teenager drove his knife into IDF soldier Eden Atias (19) of Nazareth Illit several times aboard Tel Aviv-bound Egged bus 823.
"We will respond aggressively toward organizations that aim to launch institutionalized terrorist attacks against us. We must remember that the terror of individuals unaffiliated with an organization mostly derives from the hard incitement of the Palestinian Authority, which even now, as we sit alongside their representatives at the negotiating table, continues to educate the young generation to look up to terrorist murderers of Jews, preaching hatred, and unwilling to recognize our right to exist within any boundaries," he said.
President Shimon Peres also responded to Wednesday's gruesome attack. "I am sure that the government and the state will both do all in their power to ensure that no incident like this is repeated," he said.
Two deputy ministers from the Likud-Beytenu faction called on the prime minister to cancel the next two rounds of prisoner releases to which Israel is beholden within the framework of peace talks. Deputy Defense Minister MK Danny Danon said, "The talks delude both the Israeli public and the Arabs. We must immediately stop this expected collision course."
Deputy minister in the Prime Minister's Office, MK Ofir Akunis, said, "Israel needs to say, today: Enough! Twice we have released revolting terrorists at everyone's expense."
"The diplomatic talks repeatedly increase [the amount] of terrorist attacks," said Avi Brumberg, who represents bereaved families who lost a relative in a terrorist attack.
Opposition Leader MK Shelly Yachimovich sympathized with the grieving Atias family, saying, "I trust our security forces in their fight against terror." She called on Netanyahu not to use the murder to undermine negotiations with the PA.
Meanwhile, Palestinian media reported on Wednesday that security forces raided the house of the 16-year-old terrorist in the Arraba village, near Jenin, making arrests. The Palestinian Authority has yet to officially condemn the attack. A senior official in the PA's security forces said violent incidences would only continue to become more rampant as long as progress in peace talks continues to face obstacles and building in the West Bank continues.
Hamas' military wing, meanwhile, welcomed the attack, saying it was in response to "Zionist" actions.
"This act comes amid Zionist crimes at Al-Aqsa and building in the West Bank," the spokesperson said.