Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said on Thursday that his proposal to banish the families of Palestinian terrorists to the Gaza Strip was vetoed by both the current and former attorney general.
“Unfortunately, despite my efforts to advance it, there won’t be a deportation of terrorists' families from Judea and Samaria to Gaza,” the minister told an academic conference in Herzliya on Thursday.
Erdan said that he had put forward the plan as a “deterrent measure,” but was met with stiff resistance from the current attorney general, Avichai Mandelblit, as well as his predecessor, Yehuda Weinstein.
The minister was a guest at a conference hosted by the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya. The event was held at an anti-terror think tank under the banner, “the challenge of dealing with the wave of lone-wolf terrorists.”
Erdan said that his refusal to return the bodies of terrorists to the Palestinians is motivated primarily by his wish to prevent the funeral from becoming a nationalist-driven political demonstration which glorifies the perpetrators of acts of violence.
The minister said that Palestinian glorification of terrorists creates a greater potential for copycat attacks among would-be assailants enamored with the thought of gaining national status.
Erdan said that Israel was dealing with a unique challenge in trying to stop so-called “lone wolf” attackers since by definition they do not belong to any organized entity.
The minister said that authorities were now placing greater focus on social media profiles in an effort to track incitement and narrow down potential threats.
Erdan cited the attack in Jerusalem on Wednesday, one of whose perpetrators hinted on his Facebook page that he wished to avenge the killing of his friend by Israeli forces.
“We are devoting a great deal of effort in combing through social media, and because of the large pool of potential assailants, we need to expand this even further,” Erdan said. “The social networks today are one of the major fomenters of terrorism.”
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