The head of the Samaria Regional Council went “on strike” Friday outside the prime minister’s official residence in Jerusalem, and vowed to remain there until Benjamin Netanyahu “recognizes the rights” of Israelis living in the West Bank.
Yossi Dagan arrived at the residence on Balfour Street after attending the funeral of Eitam and Naama Henkin, the Israeli couple shot dead in the West Bank on Thursday in front of their four small children. He pledged to remain there until significant steps are taken to strengthen security for Israelis in Judea and Samaria.
“I will not return home after the murder,” Dagan said. “Yesterday, as far as we’re concerned, as far as the entire people of Israel are concerned, a red line was crossed. We will not remain quiet and not return to our daily routines. A happy family became, with the decision of one murderer, a family that will never be what it was meant to be.”
“I will set up camp here in Jerusalem outside the prime minister’s residence,” Dagan said. “Here we buried our dead and here we will stay, as long as necessary, until the prime minister recognizes the rights of the residents of Judea and Samaria to live and grow, and until he adopts an adequate Zionist response to this horrible murder: [namely] security and construction.”
Netanyahu is currently in the US, where he spoke Thursday at the UN General Assembly. He remained in New York City on Friday to meet with US Secretary of State John Kerry and is expected to head back to Israel on Saturday night.
Dagan said the effects of what he called Palestinian Authority incitement were already tangible, and accused the government of failing to act decisively.
“Instead of responding with pride and force, the government continues to make hurtful and discriminatory decisions, whose sole purpose is to stop the settlement enterprise and to make the lives of residents miserable. These decisions send to our enemies a clear message of weakness and worse – they may even allow our blood to be spilled.”