New Right launches election campaign aimed at ‘defeating’ High Court, Hamas
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New Right launches election campaign aimed at ‘defeating’ High Court, Hamas

Bennett claims shootings in West Bank prove that top legal body is tying hands of soldiers, who now think twice before firing at terrorists over fear of prosecution

Jacob Magid is the settlements correspondent for The Times of Israel.

The New Right party co-leaders Ayelet Shaked and Naftali Bennett hold a press conference in Tel Aviv on March 17, 2019. (Flash90)
The New Right party co-leaders Ayelet Shaked and Naftali Bennett hold a press conference in Tel Aviv on March 17, 2019. (Flash90)

The New Right Party led by Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked launched a new campaign Sunday ahead of the upcoming election, vowing to defeat both the Hamas terror group and the High Court of Justice.

“My mission and that of Ayelet Shaked is clear: to release the IDF from the High Court of Justice so that the IDF can defeat Hamas,” Bennett said at a press conference at Tel Aviv’s Beit Sokolov.

In his remarks, Bennett referenced the Sunday morning terror shootings at a pair of junctions in the northern West Bank, in which an Israeli man was killed and two others were wounded.

“Specifically on days like today when it’s as difficult as ever to admit it, I will: when soldiers see a terrorist they think five times before they open fire on him because they fear they will be tried in court,” the New Right leader charged.

Following the attack, initial reports indicated that Israelis troops at the Ariel Junction had failed to fire at the assailant after he assaulted a soldier and snatched the soldier’s rifle, then fired at several passing vehicles before driving away with one of them.

An Israeli man injured in a shooting attack in the northern West Bank is brought to Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva on March 17, 2019. (Flash90)

The education minister and New Right co-leader asserted, “The time has come to honestly state that the High Court of Justice is tying the hands of IDF soldiers who are trying to defeat terror.”

Bennett then connected the West Bank attack to Israel’s efforts against Hamas in Gaza.

“In order to defeat Hamas, we must release the IDF from (the restraint of) the High Court of Justice,” he said.

The campaign slogan — “Shaked will defeat the High Court of Justice, Bennett will defeat Hamas” — also suggested that the outgoing justice minister, who hopes to retain the position after the upcoming elections, will be chiefly responsible with limiting the High Court’s say on matters of security. Bennett, for his part, has demanded the position of defense minister.

Shaked claimed the High Court’s “legalization” of restrictions on security issues has “penetrated deeply into government offices, including the defense establishment.” She blasted the top legal body for refusing to issue demolition orders against the homes of terrorists whose victims managed to escape the scenes of the attacks alive.

Bennett said that the IDF has stopped issuing demolition orders in such instances because it knows that the High Court will overrule them.

“We repeat slogans such as ‘we will bring the terrorists to justice’ but time and again, nothing happens to them. The terrorists are not afraid,” Shaked said.

Recent opinion polls have predicted the New Right party will receive 6-7 seats in the April 9 election.

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