Right wing politicians and settler leaders called on the government to annex Area C of the West Bank, stating that Israel “is not the banana republic of the US.”
They held a demonstration Sunday morning that was small in numbers, several hundreds activists and settlers, but which carried a heavy stick politically. MK Oren Hazen (Likud) warned the government that it held only 61 seats and that he and other politicians were willing to withhold votes on the government’s agenda if Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu failed to meet their demands.“We’re not willing to wage a price war in blood with our enemies,” Gush Etzion Regional Council head Shlomo Ne’eman said.He was one of at least a dozen speakers who spoke on a make-shift stage that had been set up opposing Netanyahu’s office prior to the government weekly meeting. They demanded increased security and stern action against terrorism, including an initial passage in the Ministerial Legislative Committee Sunday for a bill that would exile relatives of Palestinian terrorists.“We will get to every terrorist,” Housing and Construction Minster Yoav Gallant (Kulanu) told the crowd. “He will end his life either in prison or in the grave,” he added.Other ministers who spoke at the rally included Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Bayit Yehudi), Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi) and Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunin (Likud). “The terror group from Ramallah must understand that [violence] does not pay. Turn their lives into hell,” Ne’eman said. “They shouldn’t have money for candy,” he said.“We demand victory in this war. Transforming Judea and Samaria into a sovereign part of the state.,” Ne’eman demanded.“We will achieve victory through the settlements and beating the enemy mercilessly,” he said.Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan demanded that Netanyahu take action against the Palestinian Authority and to build in the settlements without any concern to whether he has the approval of the United States.“We are not the Banana Republic of the United States,” Dagan said as he called on Netanyahu to build three new settlements named for three of the victims of terror attacks in the past week.Binyamin Regional Council head Israel Ganz said, "Last week, the last candle of Chanukah, we lit candles at the Ofra junction and 10 minutes after the we lit the flame, a burst of gunfire cut off the joy,” said Israel Ganz, head of the Binyamin Regional Council. “Since then, we have met with the prime minister and discussed how terrorism must be handled.“To look for murderers is not enough. We have to treat those who send them,” he said.“We demand change,” he said. “In order to deal with terrorism, we demand that you launch a defense operation and crush the terrorist infrastructure. Return the checkpoints so residents will be able to travel safely.”Separately the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee visited the Binyamin Region on Sunday afternoon to see the area where terror attacks took place on December 9 and 13.Last Sunday a Palestinian gunman injured seven people at a bus stop outside of the Ofra settlement, causing of the victims to give birth prematurely to a baby boy who died after three days.In a second attack outside the Givat Asaf outpost last Thursday, a Palestinian gunman killed two soldiers and injured a third solider and a civilian.
Settler Leaders and Community Call on Government to Respond to Recent Wave of Terror, December 16, 2018 (Tovah Lazaroff)