Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu vowed at the Security Cabinet meeting to fight the rising tide of Arab violence with “all necessary measures” regardless of where and how the attacks take place.
Also attending the discussion were Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, Jerusalem Affairs Minister Zeev Elkin, Transportation and Road Safety Minister Yisrael Katz, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, Acting Police Commissioner Bentzi Sau. ISA Director Yoram Cohen, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, National Security Adviser Yossi Cohen, Foreign Ministry Director General Dr. Dore Gold, attorney Isaac Molcho and other senior officials.
The prime minister was grim in relating to a Jerusalem Arab rock attack on the first night of the Jewish new year, Rosh Hashana (Sun. Sept. 13) that killed a Jewish man in his sixties and injured his wife and daughter.
At the start of the meeting (Tues. Sept. 15) Netanyahu said bluntly, “We will use all necessary measures to fight against those who throw stones, firebombs, pipe bombs and fireworks in order to attack civilians and police.
“On the eve of the holiday it was again proven that throwing stones can kill. Such actions will be met with very sharp punitive and preventive responses. We will lead systemic changes and will set a new standard of deterrence and prevention.”
Cabinet members voted to examine changes in ‘open-fire’ orders, along with changes in the minimum sentences for attacks involving various types of “homemade” ammunition (such as rocks, firebombs, pipebombs and fireworks). Other changes to be considered are the imposition of heavy fines on minors who carry out such attacks, and fines on their parents as well.
Netanyahu emphasized that Israel is committed to maintaining the ‘status quo’ on the Temple Mount, but added that rioters would not be allowed to prevent Jews from visiting the Mount.
Arabs have increased the intensity and frequency of violent riots and attacks on the site in order to prevent any access to the area by Israelis and other Jews.
On Rosh Hashana, government security personnel were forced to use riot control measures in order to ensure that Jews were able to safely visit the Temple Mount compound — Judaism’s holiest site — on pilgrimage.
The prime minister ordered staff to schedule another discussion to be held next week to advance the steps decided on during the evening.