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(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
While the threat level has decreased since disengagement, there are still far-right activists in the midst of planning attacks against Prime Minister Ariel Sharon or the Temple Mount and are currently on the Shin Bet's watch list, Internal Security Minister Gideon Ezra has told The Jerusalem Post.
â€œSecurity around Sharon is tight for a reason,â€ Ezra told The Post in an interview coinciding with the holiday season. â€œThere were attacks against Palestinians before the pullout [from the Gaza Strip] and even though they were not against Sharon they were of the same mold.â€
â€œThere are crazy people out there and anything is possible,â€ he added.
Ezra, who celebrated this month a year to his appointment as Internal Security Minister, said in an extensive interview that while the Shin Bet has improved itself 1,000 percent since the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin 10 years ago, the threats against Sharon were still high and the security organizations should continue investing all available resources in protecting him.
â€œThe sky is the limit,â€ he said.
Ezra, former deputy head of the Shin Bet, called for the use of administrative detention in the case of Jewish terror suspects as well as in the case of suspected crime lords on the scale of jailed kingpin Ze'ev Rosenstein.
â€œThey need to use administrative detention against Jews and Arabs who are in the midst of planning attacks,â€ he said. â€œI am also in favor of administrative detention for top criminals. Sometimes it is either placing them in administrative detention or having lives taken or even a national disaster occurring.â€
Ezra said the police have invested and continue to invest in new security means to protect the Temple Mount from a Jewish terror attack.
â€œIf there is an attack there it will start a third world war,â€ he said. â€œThe state of Israel invests there everything at its disposal.â€
Contrary to official security predictions, Ezra said he did not foresee an escalation in Palestinian terror following the pullout from the Gaza Strip.
â€œAnything is possible in the Middle East,â€ he said. â€œBut not being in Gaza allows us to invest more resources in fighting terror. We now have more intelligence capabilities.â€
Regarding Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' seemingly lack of control over the Palestinian people and particularly the Hamas, Ezra said that if necessary he would be replaced. Ezra did not elaborate how that would happen although he hinted that the Palestinian people would not tolerate a â€œlawless militia like Hamas ruling themâ€ and would take action on their own if needed.
Ezra said that for now Israel did not have plans for a second disengagement from Judea and Samaria. He said Jerusalem was currently not on the table in discussions with the Palestinians and as a result the PA would not allow for an end to the conflict. If that was the case, he said, â€œIsrael will need to run the conflict on its own optimal terms.â€
Without noting a specific date, Ezra said Israel's next step would be to evacuate the illegal outposts.
â€œIt is part of the road map and it will be done,â€ he said. â€œWe cannot expect the other side to fulfill their obligations in the road map if we don't fulfill our obligations and evacuate the outposts.â€