Bennett defends policeman who shot, killed knife-wielding Israeli Arab youth
MKs on the Right said the police officer's response was justified, while some on the left called it murder.
By LAHAV HARKOV
Lawmakers were sharply divided over the police shooting which killed an Israeli Arab youth in Kafr Kana late Friday, setting off unrest in the Galilee.MKs on the Right said the police officer's response was justified, while some on the left called it murder. Economy Minister Naftali Bennett said: "A crazed Arab terrorist attacked a police car with a knife, in an attempt to murder the officers inside. The officers' reaction is what is expected from our security men. "This is not a murder in cold blood and we certainly should not abandon the people who are sent to defend us," he added. "If we do not back them, more and more Israelis will be murdered by knives, firecrackers and vehicular attacks." Still, Bennett said such incidents must always be investigated. Construction Minister Uri Ariel blamed the attack on the government's policies in Jerusalem, positing that "whoever believes in containment in Jerusalem will, in the end, have to deal with terrorism in Kfar Kana." Ariel called for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to change strategies and instruct security forces to go from containment to the offensive to eradicate Arab terrorism. Meretz leader Zehava Gal-On called for Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein to investigate the shooter, as well as Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich for saying that "a terrorist who harms civilians is sentenced to death." According to Gal-On, Aharonovich justified murder and gave an illegal command in his statement. "The norms of occupation and police assassinations from the territories and Jerusalem threaten Israeli Arabs," she said. MK Ahmed Tibi (UAL-Ta'al) said the police officers murdered Hamdan in cold blood, while he did not pose any danger to them. "This is a street-gang-style assassination. I call to arrest the shooter and put him on trial," Tibi stated. MK Moshe Mizrahi (Labor), a former police commander, also said the incident should be probed as soon as possible, especially since it was filmed. "This is a difficult incident with a harsh result that took place during a fragile time," he stated. "I call on politicians and Arab MKs to stop adding fuel to the fire with irresponsible statements taking advantage of the incident, while ignoring the fact that the man who was killed ran at the police officers with a knife, unprovoked. "We must wait for the results of the investigation to find out if the severe outcome [of the incident] was justified," Mizrahi added.
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