Due to the increasing violence in Jerusalem and the resulting death of an Israeli civilian, Prime Minister Netanyahu vowed to toughen measures against terrorists, including minors and their families, who throw rocks and firebombs.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday toured the neighborhood of Armon Hanatziv in Jerusalem, where Alexander Levlovitz was murdered Sunday night by a Palestinian terrorist. For the second time in recent weeks, Netanyahu promised to step-up Israel’s battle against terrorists throwing rocks and firebombs.
He was accompanied by Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, Transportation and Road Safety Minister Yisrael Katz and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.
“We are changing policy. The present situation is unacceptable and we intend to give soldiers and police officers the tools necessary to act very firmly against those who throw stones and firebombs,” Netanyahu declared.
“We are also going to adopt changes in the rules of engagement and for minimum sentences on those who throw stones and firebombs,” he said at a late-night emergency meeting on Tuesday. “In addition, we will massively increase fines for minors and their families to create deterrence there as well. In the State of Israel these phenomena are intolerable, and I’m not just talking about the roads to Jerusalem or about Jerusalem itself, I am talking about the Galilee and the Negev as well. We are changing our policy to war on those who throw rocks and firebombs.”
Anarchy on Temple Mount ‘Unacceptable’
He also reiterated Israel’s policy of “strictly maintaining the status quo on the Temple Mount.”
However, “the status quo is upset constantly by agitators and rioters who barricade themselves on the Temple Mount and harass worshipers, or, more precisely, the Jewish visitors. This is also unacceptable to us. We are dealing with this, in cooperation and dialogue with Jordan, and not just with them.”
At the spot where Levlovitz was murdered, Netanyahu stood and declared “war on those who throw stones and bottles, and rioters.”
According to a report in Ha’aretz, Netanyahu requested that Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein allow Israel Police to deploy snipers firing small-caliber bullets against rock-throwers. In most cases, the injuries that the bullets inflict are not fatal or serious, but they do stop the perpetrator.
The request was reportedly made during the Tuesday night emergency meeting.
IDF snipers in Judea and Samaria are allowed to fire 0.22-mm, small-caliber bullets at rioters who throw fire bombs or large rocks that the commander on site sees as lethal. Police are permitted to use means of riot-dispersal only as they face-off with Palestinian rioters in Jerusalem.
Netanyahu’s entourage also went to a lookout point at the Metzudat Adumim Border Police base north of the capital, where they were briefed by acting Israel Police Commissioner Bentzi Sau, Jerusalem District Police Commander Chico Edry and Jerusalem Border Police Commander Yizhar Peled.
Netanyahu then visited an IDF position on Highway 443, where he was updated by acting GOC Central Command Col. Roni Numa, Judea and Samaria Division Commander Brig.-Gen. Lior Carmeli and Binyamin Brigade Commander Israel Shomer.
There has been a long string of terror attacks on Highway 443, a main route leading to the capital, in recent months.
By: United with Israel Staff
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