Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel (Bayit Yehudi) on Friday
called on Israel to halt direct talks with the Palestinians following the
fatal attack of an Israeli man overnight in a settlement in the northern Jordan Valley, Army Radio reported.
reportedly viewed the killing of Sraya Ofer as a terrorist attack,
saying "This murder requires a diplomatic response that includes the
suspension of talks [with the Palestinians], halting the release of
terrorists and [changing] attitudes toward settlements".
light of Ofer's murder, the minister vowed to "populate the area and
turn it into a flourishing settlement in the Jordan Valley."
President Shimon Peres on Friday vowed that all force would be exerted
to uncover the events surrounding Ofer's murder.
"No one will
rest until the trails of the murderers are uncovered and the whole
picture becomes clear, Peres said in a statement.
"I want to
send my condolences to the family and express my regret for the loss of a
senior IDF officer who served his people and his country in a dignified
way ," the president said.
Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon told Army Radio that Friday's attack joined a series of other attacks in the West Bank that were not related, but formed a disturbing picture.
Danon said that the government should reconsider the continuation of negotiations with the Palestinians and the release of Palestinian prisoners as a gesture for resuming the direct talks.
deputy defense minister said he suspected incitement from the
Palestinian Authority had motivated Friday's attack, Army Radio
reported. He also suggested that those responsible for the violent
incident in the northern Jordan Valley were forces attempting to
undermine the leadership of PA President Mahmoud Abbas.
should "decide on building and strengthening Jewish settlements in Judea
and Samaria," Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin (Likud) said following
the attack and murder of Ofer
The former chairman of the Yesha
Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria, Dani Dayan also
responded to the Friday morning attack by condemning Israel's decision
to release Palestinian prisoners.
"Since the release of convicted terrorists last month, three innocent Israelis have lost their lives and a 9-year-old girl was wounded," he said in a statement.
cannot be and is not a statistical coincidence. It is clear now, that
the process of releasing terrorists should be halted immediately."
Reuters contributed to this report.
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