Olmert: Responses to rioters must be intensified

January 18, 2006 14:43

Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert instructed the security establishment to intensify its responses against violence demonstrated by settlers in the West Bank. During a special security assessment meeting convened on Wednesday, Olmert said that until now, security officials did not utilize the necessary limits of their power against the rioting settlers. Olmert directed that the market in Hebron and the Amona outpost be evacuated immediately. Olmert also told Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz to present a plan for evacuating all of the illegal outposts in the West Bank, detailing the forces that would be needed to complete the mission. He even asked Attorney General Menahem Mazuz to consider placing people routinely involved in violence under administrative detention. In addition, he said that any government employees involved in the riots need to be punished with extra severity. Chief of General Staff Dan Halutz said during the meeting that "We are now paying the price for the leniency we exhibited until now toward the settlers."

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