Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon on tour of West Bank.
(photo credit: AMOS BEN-GERSHOM/GPO)
Israel will place cameras both on the ground and in the air over the roads in Judea and Samaria that will be linked to command centers to provide immediate IDF response to violence on the roads, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday.
Netanyahu's comments came during a visit to the site near Itamar where terrorists murdered Eitam and Naama Henkin last Thursday night. Netanyahu was accompanied by Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon and Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eizenkot.
“The focus of this visit was on active defense of the roads,” Netanyahu said, adding that “a large portion of the attacks take place on the roads.” He said that the enhanced surveillance, along with the ability for quick response, can “significantly” improve Israel's ability to both thwart attacks and apprehend the perpetrators
“This is a very, very important component in bringing back security,” he said.
In reaction to criticism from the right – including form ministers within his own government and party – that the IDF and the security forces were not taking all the steps necessary, and that they were not getting the needed support from the government, Netanyahu said “there is no question of backing, or support, and everyone knows that.”
He said responsibility was needed from public leaders, including and especially the leaders in the settlements. “We are in a long struggle, and it does not need militancy, but rather it needs a lot of strength, aggressiveness, calm and consistency, and we are doing that.”
Netanyahu stressed that the center of the current tension was the Temple Mount, and that Israel was committed to the status quo.
“But the status quo does not permit bringing pipe bombs into al-Aksa Mosque, and it does not permit bringing firebombs and rocks there,” he said.
Netanyahu said he also directed the police to take actions against the Old City merchants and Palestinians who allegedly spat and kicked at Adel Banita after she was stabbed and -- while bleeding -- sought their help. Her husband Aharon was killed in the Saturday night attack in Jerusalem’s Old City
, and her toddler son was also injured.
“I asked that these people be investigated, brought to court, and their stores shut in conjunction with the law. We cannot accept this,” he said.
Netanyahu said that action will be taken against incitement, including incitement from Israel's Islamic Movement, along with Hamas and the Palestinian Authority.
With these steps, he said, “Israel can stop this wave of terror, like we have stopped others.”
Netanyahu said that Israel is in constant contact with Jordan, Egypt and “many others,” trying to present them with the fact that “we have no intention of changing the status quo on the Temple Mount, that the mosques will remain there, and that Israel does not intend to destroy them and build the third temple.”
Those “lies” he said were “absurd,” but were beginning to be believed by the masses, and even among those in leadership positions. “If you repeat a lie long enough, it becomes a truth,” he said.
Israel, he said, needed to work aggressively against the terrorists, rioters and inciters, and also at the same time make clear that it was maintaining the status quo on the Temple Mount.