Appearing at the opening of the 17th International Conference on Counter-Terrorism of the Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) in Herzliya, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi) said the international community should not waste their time leading yet another failed international peace effort, but instead should bolster economic cooperation between Israeli and the PA and Gaza Arabs: improving the security barriers system, increasing work permits, investing in energy infrastructure, connecting to a seaport and improving living conditions alongside jobs creation.
“We have to make great efforts to develop the Palestinian economy and the Palestinian Authority,” Shaked said. “Mahmoud Abbas will be 92 a decade from now. Israel will not intervene in his replacement, but we will certainly expect changes.”
“In the south we have a terrorist organization that controls the Gaza Strip and continues to arm itself, unfortunately,” Shaked said. “The civilian population there is in great distress. Hamas is investing hundreds of millions of shekels in armament for a future use of its military capability, and its strengthening it is done at the expense of the civilians.”
“In the north, the Shiite continuum from Iran to Syria and on the border with Israel worries us,” Shaked continued, “Both in terms of Iran’s entrenchment on the border and also since Syria will become a vanguard base for Iran for moving weapons, building a port, bringing in submarines.”
“We hope that the world powers will not allow the Iranian takeover in Syria to become substantial,” Shaked noted, adding that “Israel needs to make sure it does not happen.”
“Alongside the Iranian threat there’s the strengthening of Hezbollah, which has accumulated an arsenal of more than 100,000 missiles and rockets over the past decade – and today they are starting to work on precision rockets, which strategically is far more dangerous for the State of Israel,” Shaked pointed out.
Shaked praised the new War on Terror Act, 5776-2016, which, she said, “enshrines in legislation all sorts of British Mandate era decrees and emergency regulations.” She suggested the law offers security forces “a large and at the same time precise scope for action.”
“For example, there are specific definitions of failure to prevent terrorism, with detailed offenses and detailed penalties,” she said.
Also, “The law added the possibility of continuing to use offenses in the Penal Code, but instead of attaching aggravated circumstances to a terror indictment and hoping that the court would approve, the law determines that if the offense is part of an act of terrorism, the maximum sentence is multiplied by two to a maximum of 25 years. The law also provides detailed definitions of forfeiture of terror-related property funds, while, of course, guarding individuals’ human rights,” Minister Shaked said.