Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Monday that Palestinian terrorists utilizing violence in what he said was an effort to “kick us out of here” won’t be successful. He spoke hours after a soldier was stabbed in Tel Aviv by a Palestinian assailant, and shortly before a second stabbing attack in the West Bank.
The prime minister’s remarks came amid a flurry of condemnation of the stabbing of the IDF soldier in Tel Aviv, as various ministers called on the security forces to implement tougher measures.
Netanyahu said the “terrorists are inciting, and want to kick us out of here. I promise they won’t be successful.”
The prime minister added that the PA was to blame for the attack, and called once again for all legal measures — including house demolitions — to be used against the terrorists.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett called on the government to adopt tougher measures against Arab rioters, amid a spike in unrest in a number of northern towns following the police shooting of a man Friday night.
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni lamented the stabbing attack as part of the “difficult times” Israel is going through, and Finance Minister Yair Lapid warned against revenge attacks.
Liberman said that in order to prevent “provocations and friction,” Israel must “act against the rioters and inciters,” according to Ynet.
“That Hanin Zoabi is not behind bars is [a sign of] weakness,” he said, in reference to the controversial Balad MK.
Bennett echoed the foreign minister’s statement, arguing that Palestinian rioters should be imprisoned to ensure the security of Israeli citizens.
The economy minister called the Tel Aviv stabbing a “serious attack which proves the uselessness of the concrete block method.” Bennett was referring to the police’s decision to set up concrete barricades next to Jerusalem’s light rail stops last week in the aftermath of two deadly car-ramming attacks in the capital.
“It’s impossible to protect people in the street; the inciters, fire-cracker throwers, and rioters must sit in prison,” he said, insisting it was the “correct security policy.”
Bennett went on to criticize Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas as “heir to [the late Palestinian leader Yasser] Arafat, only in different clothing.” The PA president is “a terrorist in a suit, and he must be treated accordingly,” he added, reiterating a characterization he made several days ago.
Responding to the attack, Livni said it was a sign of “hard times for the State of Israel.”
“Terror must be fought, but it must be understood that it’s all related — Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Gaza, Judea and Samaria,” she added, according to Ynet.
Seeking to quell tensions, Lapid called on the public to refrain from violence, and let the security forces “do their jobs.”
“There is no place for calls for revenge in a country which values life just as there is no place for chants of ‘Death to the Arabs.’ Instead of strengthening us at this difficult time, it weakens us,” Lapid said in a statement.
Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, who arrived at the Tel Aviv Hahagana train station shortly after the stabbing, was heckled by passerby who demanded “Where is the security?” and called out “Death to the terrorists.”
Following the attack, Likud MK Danny Danon criticized the public security minister and called on him to resign.
“An intifada must be treated as an intifada,” Danon said, according to the Walla news website. “If we have a public security minister who cannot protect Israeli citizens, let him set his keys on the table and say: ‘I can’t.'” Danon also criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for “talking but not doing.”