Defense minister Ehud Barak pointing 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Harmoni/Defense Ministry)
tag" attacks and the isolated radical settlers perpetrating them harm
the state, the army and Israel's relations with its neighbors and the
Palestinians, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said during a tour of the West
Bank Tuesday morning.
Barak was clear, however, that those
carrying out attacks against Palestinians and the IDF "are isolated
radicals." Most settlers in the West Bank are normal citizens, he said,
adding that settlers "are entitled to the protection of the state."
"These isolated radicals are harming Israeli citizens, diverting the
IDF from its duties and principles, and are also harming the delicate
fabric of our relations with the Palestinians and our neighbors in
general," the defense minister said. The IDF and other law enforcement
agencies should be praised for their work to stop the phenomenon, he
went on to praise the IDF's work protecting Israelis and maintaining
quiet, which he described as necessary for giving peace a chance.
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"We are looking ahead at a period of uncertainty," he added, saying
that the Israeli government is trying to advance the peace process but
that there is no guarantee it will take off. "It is our intention,
however, to also work in the field in order to give the [peace] process a
chance."The IDF's work to protect Israelis is "exceptional," Barak said, but
admitted the security establishment "is never actually satisfied. There
were a number of large [terrorist] attacks this year and we took care of
For the IDF, he said, "there is nothing more important than protecting
Israeli citizens, the settlements, and the movement of Israelis here (in
the West Bank), alongside ensuring quiet in the area."
That quiet, the defense minister explained, "is a result of
accomplishments of the IDF, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), the
Civil Authority, and not insignificantly, of the actions of the
Palestinian security forces."