Herzog accuses Netanyahu of ‘eroding’ security
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Herzog accuses Netanyahu of ‘eroding’ security

Opposition leader calls for fundamental change in approach to PalestinIan terrorism, alludes to withdrawal from West Bank

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Zionist Union party chairman MK Isaac Herzog leads a faction meeting in the Knesset, January 4, 2016 (FLASH90)
Zionist Union party chairman MK Isaac Herzog leads a faction meeting in the Knesset, January 4, 2016 (FLASH90)

Opposition leader MK Isaac Herzog on Sunday accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of an inadequate response to the current wave of terror attacks. Israel, he said, should try to effect a fundamental change in its efforts to curb attacks, including punishing terror group Hamas and working to unilaterally withdraw from the West Bank.

“He is no longer Mr. Security, rather we see a pundit, a talkbacker, a model — not a leader who is changing the situation fundamentally,” Herzog told Israel Radio.

Herzog, who heads the Zionist Union party, charged that basic security for the country’s citizens has “eroded.”

He called on the government to address “incitement” to violence, and to take stern measures against the Gaza Strip-based terror group Hamas, while at the same time advancing steps that would “separate” Israel from the Palestinians in the West Bank — a hint at unilateral withdrawal.

Herzog’s comments came as Israel has been weathering nearly four months of Palestinian attacks — including stabbings, shootings and car rammings — against security forces and civilians. A small number of attacks, most notably the a shooting spree nine days ago in Tel Aviv, were carried out by Israeli Arabs.

The January 1 attacks by Nashat Milhem claimed the lives of three Israelis and injured six more. He fled the scene and hid out in his hometown of Arara in the north of the country before he was finally cornered and shot dead by security forces on Friday afternoon.

Scene of the shooting attack on Dizengoff street in Tel Aviv on January 1, 2016. (Magen David Adom)
Scene of the shooting attack on Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv on January 1, 2016. (Magen David Adom)

In the wake of the shooting, which Milhem carried out with a submachine gun he stole from him father, there were calls for greater law enforcement, especially regarding illegal weapons in Arab communities.

Netanyahu’s Likud party rejected Herzog’s accusations Sunday, saying the opposition leader was running a “smear campaign” while the prime minister was busy mustering resources for the fight against terrorism.

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