Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said on Sunday that the Israeli army will operate inside the Palestinian controlled areas adding that “the Palestinians will feel the presence of the army among them”.

The statements of Mofaz came as he was commenting on the shooting attack which left three settlers killed and four injured in Gush Etzion junction, near the West Bank city of Hebron.

“Israel will do everything it can to prevent such attacks”, Mofaz said, “Terrorist organizations are destroying our relation with the Palestinian Authority”.

An Israeli military source reported on Sunday evening that the Israeli army will be operating in Bethlehem at night in an attempt to locate the group which carried the shooting attack.

The source “advised” Palestinian police and security men to step aside in order to avoid clashes with the army.

After the shooting, the Israeli army started scanning Palestinian villages near Hebron, and installed checkpoints after closing off all Palestinian roads in the area of the attack.