Maj.-Gen. Mizrahi: ‘Price-tag’ attacks constitute terror

IDF commander tells 'Meet the Press' that attacks against Palestinians could ignite the W. Bank; Mizrahi singles out Yitzhar settlement.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
July 16, 2011 20:52
1 minute read.
OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Avi Mizrahi

Avi Mizrahi 311. (photo credit: IDF Spokesperson)

 
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OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Avi Mizrahi on Saturday condemned settler violence against Palestinians, saying that actions that have come to be known as “pricetag” attacks constitute terrorism.

“What’s happening in the field is terrorism,” Mizrahi told Channel 2’s Meet the Press. These are “terrorist activities, and [they] need to be dealt with.

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“The harassment of Palestinians is not a ‘price-tag,’ it’s terror,” he said.

The IDF fears that “terrorism against Palestinians is likely to ignite the territories,” he said.

“The burning of mosques, the destruction of olive groves or the injuring of people” can trigger renewed violence in the West Bank, he said. The term “price-tag attacks” refers to when Palestinians or their property are targeted after the security forces evacuate or demolish settlement structures.

Mizrahi also criticized the criminal justice system for not punishing right-wing activists arrested by the army.



“Law enforcement in Judea and Samaria cannot be solely laid on the IDF,” he said.

“When somebody infiltrates Joseph’s Tomb [in Nablus] at night and I unnecessarily endanger my soldiers in order to locate and protect him, I expect the court to [remove him from the area] for a very long time.”

When the courts releases such offenders, “I feel as if I’m working with no chance” of succeeding, Mizrahi said.

The general, born in 1964, singled out the Yitzhar settlement, which has been the site of numerous clashes between settlers on the one hand and soldiers and police on the other, as well as with Palestinians.

“It’s my opinion that the Yitzhar settlement must be closed,” he said.

He added, however, that “I act according to the orders I receive.”

Mizrahi also criticized rightwing protests targeting OC Judea and Samaria Division Brig.-Gen. Nitzan Alon at his home, calling them very grave.

“We are public servants and we expect the legal system to protect us. We are working in every possible channel to deal with these people, but I don’t think that Nitzan would want us to deploy a company [of soldiers] outside his home.”

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