Israel’s Security Cabinet approved at its meeting late Monday night new, upgraded counter-terror measures to address the current uptick in Arab violence.
Demolitions of homes belonging to terrorists convicted of murder and assassination would be stepped up, according to the new regulations.
In addition, security and military units assigned to keep order are being reinforced in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem.
Special police units are starting to conduct “deep raids” and maintain a presence in Jerusalem Arab neighborhoods from which rioters and other Arab attackers originate.
In addition, Arab affairs journalist Khaled Abu Toameh reported in a tweet Tuesday morning, “Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi are pressuring Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas to take measures to prevent further deterioration.”
If true, it would signify that Jordan and Egypt are taking steps to end the calculated chaos in the Palestinian Authority since Abbas lit the fuse from the podium of the United Nations General Assembly.
The Security Cabinet unanimously approved new measures Thursday night against terrorists who hurl stones, firecrackers, fireworks, stun grenades and firebombs (Molotov cocktails) at Israeli civilians and security personnel.
“The security cabinet has decided to authorize police to use live ammunition against people throwing stones and Molotov cocktails when the life of a third person is threatened and no longer only when a police officer is threatened,” a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said.
The cabinet approved the use of .22 Ruger sniper rifles against rioters hurling stones, who endanger others, and live fire in any case in which lives are endangered.
Stiffened penalties include a mandatory minimum four-year prison sentence and a fine for convicted stone-throwers ages 14-18. Also approved was an evaluation of possibly fining the parents of convicted children ages 12 to 14.
“In Israel, these murderous objects won’t be thrown unanswered and without prevention,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu tweeted following the cabinet vote.
However, children under age 12 cannot be held accountable for crimes under current Israeli law. With the rise in terror attacks, there has also been a corresponding escalation in the number of Arab 10 year olds who are being caught throwing stones at Israeli soldiers and police officers as well.
Suspected Arab rock throwers have murdered a Jewish Israeli motorist as he was driving late Sunday night in the southern Jerusalem neighborhood of Armon Hanatziv.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has called an “emergency meeting” of the Security Cabinet to discuss the upswing in Arab rock-throwing and firebombing attacks.
“The prime minister views with great severity the phenomenon of rock-throwers and throwers of firebombs at Israeli civilians and intends on combating this using all measures, including the stepping up of punishments and enforcement,” said a government official.
Alexander Leiblovitch, 64, was driving the vehicle when it was hit by a barrage of rocks and careened out of control, striking an electricity pole at around midnight.
Leiblovitch was mortally wounded in the crash, stated Jerusalem District Police spokesperson Luba Samri.
“The driver who was involved in the accident… apparently as a result of rock-throwing … died at Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center,” she told media.
Two other passengers were also injured in the crash, albeit less seriously. The group was returning home from a celebration to mark the start of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana.
The army soon may be allowed to act like an army and actually fire at terrorists even if soldiers might only be liable to be wounded and not killed.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the Security Cabinet Wednesday morning that there will be a re-examination of a recent decision to prohibit soldiers from shooting at rock-throwing and firebombing terrorists unless their lives are in immediate danger.
Since the legal system is finding it difficult to deal with stone-throwing by minors, changing open-fire orders regarding the throwing of stones and firebombs will be examined, as will be the imposition – by law – of minimum sentences for those who throw stones and firebombs.
Stiffer sentences, including several years in prison, for rock-throwers already are on the agenda following an imitative by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked.
The issue of minors throwing rocks, intended to kill Israeli drivers either with a direct hit in the face or by causing them to lose control of their vehicles and crash, was highlighted around the world earlier this week with the video of a Palestinian Authority family whose children are “stars” in rock-throwing attacks on soldiers, whose reactions are filmed and edited to portray the children as innocent victims of a big bad army.
The video showed the children and adults punching and beating the soldier, who sat helpless and without even aiming his semi-automatic rifle at them.
Prime Minister Netanyahu did not refer to the most recent “Pallywood” video and instead focused on the increasing number of attacks on Highway 443, the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway that is an alternate to Highway 1 and which also connects the capital with the suburban city of Modi’in.
He told the Security Cabinet:
The policy is zero tolerance for stone-throwing and zero tolerance for terrorism.
That has been said over and over, but the government and military actually have shown 100% tolerance by tying the hands of soldiers trying to defend themselves and civilians.
One young woman told TheJewishPress.com she still is traumatized by an ambush on a vehicle in which she was riding on Highway 60 between Jerusalem and Gush Etzion.
“S. B.” said”
Arabs smashed the back windshield and ambushed our car. An IDF officer at the scene communicated with his superior, who told him not shoot. The officer replied, ‘How am I supposed to defend civilians if I can’t shoot?’
The IDF’s answer earlier this month was not encouraging and was so cowardly that even international media such as Newsweek reported:
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has tightened its rules of engagement for soldiers based in the West Bank in a move one analyst says could embolden would-be Palestinian attackers.
IDF soldiers have been instructed not to shoot at Palestinian suspects unless they pose an immediate threat to life in an updated directive issued by Major General Roni Numa, who is in charge of IDF Central Command….
The new directive clarifies existing IDF rules on opening fire against Palestinians. The rules stipulate that soldiers can only shoot when their lives are threatened—so if an attacker throws a firebomb at soldiers before running away, for example, the soldiers can only shoot in the air, as the attacker no longer poses a threat to forces.
Asaf Day, an Israeli security analyst with Tel Aviv-based consultancy Max Security…said, ‘I think [these measures] will encourage Palestinians to carry out more attacks and I think it has been proven in the past.”
That is exactly what has happened, and the Prime Minister gave clear signs today he will rectify the situation.
He also ordered the examination of several defensive measures, such as increasing lighting and the number of security cameras on Highway 443. In addition, two more Border Police companies and approximately 400 more police officers will be stationed in Jerusalem.
That does not solve the problem in Judea and Samaria, where rock-throwing attacks are so common that they no longer are reported by most media, unless someone is seriously injured or killed. That is similar to the rocket attacks from Gaza. If they “land,” meaning “explode,” in “open areas,” the liberal media might consider it important enough for two paragraphs.
The “turn the other cheek for the sake of ‘peace'” mentality that successive U.S. governments and the European Union have imposed on Israel still prevails in many quarters.
As usual, it takes more violence and injures before the government and the IDF begins to think that maybe, just maybe, soldiers should be allowed to shoot at terrorists, whether they are shooting bullets or throwing rocks.
Netanyahu took the first step today by suggesting that perhaps solders can shoot, even if rocks and firebombs might cause them injuries and not death.
Below the photo, a video shows Palestinian children, starring Shirley Temper.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu expressed “deep sorrow” Saturday night over the death of Sa’ad Dawabsheh.
The 32-year-old father of two succumbed earlier in the day to burns covering 80 percent of his body after a week-long fight for life at Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva.
His 18-month-old baby Ali died immediately in the firebombing that burned his house in the village of Duma, also seriously wounding his wife Riham and four-year-old son Ahmed. The two are hospitalized at Tel Hashomer Medical Center in Tel Aviv.
In his statement Saturday night, the prime minister told media: “I express deep sorrow over the death of Sa’ad Dawabsheh. When I visited family members in hospital last week, I promised that we would use all the tools at our disposal to apprehend the murderers and deal with them to the fullest extent of the law and this is what we are doing.
“At last week’s Security Cabinet meeting we made decisions to assist the fight against terrorism, including in regard to administrative detentions and advancing anti-terrorism legislation. We will not tolerate terrorism of any kind.”
Hamas used the attack on the Dawabsheh home as an excuse to against attempt to launch a third intifada.
The terrorist group issued a region-wide call to Palestinian Authority residents Saturday to attend the funeral of Sa’ad Dawabsheh in Samaria.