Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday condemned alleged violence carried
out by far-Right activists in the past week under the guise of the so-called
“price tag” reprisal policy, saying the whole concept was completely
“We don’t have private militias,” the prime minister said,
during a tour of the Jordan Valley intended to stress the area’s strategic
importance for Israeli security.
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“People cannot take the law into their
own hands, that is not their job.”
The “price tag” policy refers to
intermittent violence against Palestinians that has occurred following IDF
actions against illegal settlement outposts. These actions have ranged from
smashing windows to stoning Arab cars.
He spoke in the aftermath of a
number of such attacks by extreme right-wing activists, including throwing a
Molotov cocktail into a Palestinian home, to protest the demolition of three
structures at Gilad Farm last week.
“I unequivocally reject this concept
and those who break the law will be dealt with accordingly,” Netanyahu
He words drew both a comment of support and condemnation from Dani
Dayan, who heads the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the
“I agree that the price tag policy is a moral and tactical
disaster,” Dayan said. “It is in opposition to Jewish moral values and it
damages the settlement enterprise.
“But I would expect that as we condemn
the price tag policy we would expect Netanyahu to condemn the excessive use of
force and of arms at Gilad Farm,” Dayan said.
He is among a number of
settler leaders and right-wing politicians who have attacked the Border Police
for firing plastic bullets at settlers who tried to prevent the Gilad Farm
demolitions last week, even though such bullets are considered to be a standard
riot dispersal tool by police.
To underscore the severity of the use of
such bullets, Benny Katzover, who heads the Samaria Citizens Committee sent a
plastic bullet to the head of the security detail for the prime minister and
asked that it be presented through them to Netanyahu.
In his letter,
Katzover said that he believed Netanyahu was unaware of the severity of the
weapon. He asked that an external investigation be held into the Gilad Farm
incident and the use of such arms.
Public Security Minister Yitzhak
Aharonovitch, meanwhile, defended the actions of the Border Police that day.
Speaking in the south on Tuesday, Aharonovitch said that he would not allow
anyone to take the law into their own hands.
He added that issues of
enforcement in Judea and Samaria as well as protests against such actions would
continue to be a central part of the public debate.
He spoke specifically
about the “Day of Rage” last Thursday in which activists blocked roads in
Jerusalem, Latrun, Ben-Gurion Airport and a number of places in the West
“The whole subject of the Day of Rage, I won’t be deterred by it,”
said Aharonovitch. “They should be angry with themselves for their
“Anyone who thinks that they can come and block roads that the
police won’t be there [is mistaken.] The police will be there and they will
arrest them and they will prosecute them,” he said.
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