Scene of exploded bus in Jerusalem, April 18, 2016.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Monday’s bombing of a Jerusalem bus must be the catalyst for an IDF operation, the heads of the Knesset’s Land of Israel lobby, MKs Bezalel Smotrich and Yoav Kisch said Tuesday.
Smotrich (Bayit Yehudi) said Israel needed to repeat 2002’s Operation Defensive Shield, in which the IDF took back security control of West Bank cities relinquished in the Oslo diplomatic process. He noted reports that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is considering removing the IDF from those cities again.
“Whoever needed a reminder of what can happen if the IDF does not act in Arab cities in Judea and Samaria got it now,” Smotrich said. “We cannot return to the blunders of the Oslo process that cost so many lives. I call the prime minister to reject demands that he surrender and concede land, and instead take action to defeat terrorism.”
Kisch (Likud) said the IDF must be allowed to do everything necessary to ensure that the attack would be the only one.
“We will not let them return to the bad old days of the 1990s in which despicable Arab terrorists flooded rivers of Jewish blood,” Kisch said. “We must assassinate terrorism determinedly as we did 15 years ago.
There is no other solution when we are facing Arab aggression, except for standing strong on our land from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.”
Zionist Union MK Nachman Shai said the government has proven it does not have the ability to provide security to the citizens of the state.
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“How many more people will have to die and be injured while Netanyahu fails to take action?” Shai asked. “My heart is with the victims and their families and I wish them a quick recovery.”
Zionist Union MK Stav Shaffir said Netanyahu should react to the attack by taking diplomatic steps toward the Palestinians.
“There are steps he can take that the security establishment supports but he won’t because he is more afraid of people who write talkbacks on the Internet than he is of Hamas,” Shaffir said. “The time has come to put the security of Israeli citizens at the top of our agenda and take steps that will ensure our future here.”
Joint List head Ayman Odeh condemned the attack. He said harming citizens is unacceptable and damages the Palestinian struggle.
“The Netanyahu government fuels the cycle of violence and is fueled by it,” Odeh said. “Despair is a ripe breeding ground for terrorism. Only completing a diplomatic agreement will bring security to both peoples.”
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