Netanyahu: Rioting Israeli Arabs can't act violently while benefiting from state payments

PM says what is needed now is to act “with composure and responsibly," and not with “militancy or rashness.”

July 6, 2014 12:06
1 minute read.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu speaks at the weekly cabinet meeting, June 29, 2014. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Israeli Arab rioters cannot on the one hand throw petrol bombs and rocks, destroy property and call for the destruction of the state, and on the other hand enjoy the benefits of child allowance and National Security Insurance payments, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Sunday.

Speaking at the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu again called on the Israeli Arab leadership to “show responsibility, stand up in the face of the rioting in order to restore quiet.”

“Those who do not respect the law, will be arrested and severely punished,” he said, adding that Israel will deal with a “heavy hand “ against those lawbreakers and inciters “from any side.”

“There is no room in Israel for throwing rocks at police, throwing petrol bombs, blocking roads, destroying property or inciting against the very existence of the State of Israel,” he said.

Following days of rockets on the South and riots in Jerusalem and among segments of the Israeli Arab population, Netanyahu opened the weekly cabinet meeting saying what was needed now was to act “with composure and responsibly," and not with “militancy or rashness.”

“We are working on several fronts at the same time” he said. “Last night we acted against numerous Hamas targets in Gaza, and the objective of all those actions is to return the quiet and security to the citizens of the south.”

Even as he counseled “composure” and not acting “rashly,” Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz added his voice to other ministers publicly calling on the government they are a part of to take much tougher action in Gaza.

“I am looking at this strategically,” Steinitz told reporters on his way into the cabinet meeting. “What we need to achieve is not only deterrence, I'm talking about taking control of Gaza, cleaning out the stables in Gaza, and leaving Gaza.”

Finance Minister Yair Lapid, on the other hand, called on his fellow ministers not overdo their rhetoric, and not act or talk like “talkbackers.”

“We need to lower the flames, not increase them,” he said.

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