Frustrated settlers called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to authorize NIS 800 million he had promised them for security to prevent further terrorist attacks.“The next attack is already on the way,” said Rena Ariel, whose daughter Hallel Yaffa, 13, was stabbed to death in her bedroom after a teenage Palestinian terrorist breached the Kiryat Arba security fence.She was one of a number of terrorist victims, right-wing politicians and settler leaders who held a rally of some 1,000 people in front of Netanyahu’s Jerusalem home on Sunday night.It part of a campaign they began last week, which has included a daily protest tent on the sidewalk, where right-wing ministers and politicians have visited them.At issue is the initial phase of a NIS 3b. plan for bypass roads, better street lighting, complete cellular coverage and smart fences that Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman is advancing.Netanyahu had promised to take action on Sunday, but instead said he would speak with ministers about the matter next week.
“Why wait?” Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) asked at the rally. “Every minute endangers lives.”Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan who has spearheaded the battle said, “We have had enough of the cycle of promises and spins.”Over time, he said, the only thing that changed “is the name of the victims.”“We will not stand for our neighbor’s blood. I call from here for the prime minister to convene the security cabinet to authorize the money,” Dagan said.Twelve-year-old Itai Mizrahi, whose father was shot to death by a Palestinian terrorist on the road to Kiryat Arba right before the Passover Seder three years ago. He said he was speaking in the name of all the orphaned children who wanted to be the last ones to lose their parents in a terrorist attack.“I will celebrate my bar mitzva this year, so the loss of my father feels even more acute,” he said. “Who will teach me how to put on tefilin or to read the Torah?” “Not a day goes by in which I do not think of you and miss you or ask myself what would have happened if,” Itai said.Jerusalem Affairs Minister Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) promised the protesters that he would work to ensure that there was a cabinet decision which will bring about movement on the ground, explaining that the setters have a right to security.Earlier in the day, Education Minister Naftali Bennett visited the protest tent after the meeting of coalition party heads with Netanyahu. He pledged his support for the battle, explaining that he had also demanded action during the meeting.“This is not about politics, this is about lives,” he said.“Imagine that someone shoots at you while you are traveling but you cannot call the police [for lack of cellular coverage],” Bennett said.Or “imagine that while you are at home on Friday night, terrorists are roaming in your community because there aren’t any [security] cameras,” Bennett said.“The government of Israel should not have to wait years or even a month to take the basic steps to provide security,” he said.
Hadas Mizrahi calls on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to endorse and fund a new security plan for West Bank roads, October 18, 2017. (Tovah Lazaroff)