PM: Small group thinks it can cancel loyalty to state

Netanyahu condemns violence at Knesset plenum after 50 settlers attack IDF base in W. Bank; orders "emergency plan."

By JPOST.COM STAFF
December 13, 2011 15:54
3 minute read.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu [file]

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Uriel Sinai/Pool )

A small group thinks it can cancel loyalty to the state and law, said Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu,  speaking out against the break-ins to IDF bases on Tuesday.

During a speech to the Knesset plenum commemorating 50 years since the Eichmann trial Netanyahu said, "a small group among those who are faithful to the Land of Israel think that they can cancel loyalty to the state and the law." "This is a danger to democracy and our state."

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The prime minister stated that anyone who would raise his hand to hurt IDF soldiers or police officers would be punished to the full extent of the law.

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He demanded that the law be enforced, so that Israeli sovereignty would not be harmed.

The prime minister asked senior security officials to prepare an emergency plan to deal with settler violence against the IDF, following a night that saw a threatened-breach of the Jordanian border and an attack on an IDF base by settlers in the West Bank.

"We need to stop this now," Netanyahu said at the Knesset while attending a film screening Tuesday afternoon. "This is something small that could become something larger and bad. We will stop it now."

Earlier Tuesday Netanyahu convened an emergency meeting with senior security officials in his office following the attack by some 50 settlers on an army base in the West Bank. Among those attending were Defense Minister Ehud Barak, IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz, OC Central Command Maj.-Gen. Avi Mizrahi, Police Commissioner Insp.-Gen. Yochanan Danino and Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch.

Prior to the meeting, the prime minister
ordered security forces to "act aggressively" against anyone who attacks IDF soldiers, saying the incident "deserves all condemnation," the Prime Minister's Office said. "The security forces need to concentrate on defending our citizens and not on these abhorrent acts."

The activists burned tires, spread nails on the roads, vandalized cars and threw rocks at the jeep of a senior officer, brigade commander Col. Ran Kahane. The incident, the latest in a series of attacks by settlers and right-wing activists against Palestinians and the IDF, came just hours after security forces evacuated about 20 activists from an abandoned building they had raided along Israel's border with Jordan. Settlers call the attacks "price tag" attacks, as they tend to come in reaction to the evacuation or threatened evacuation of illegal outposts.

IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai, however, said the IDF is refusing to use that terminology. IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz "for a while now hasn't called this 'price tag,' Mordechai told Army Radio Tuesday morning. "We need to define this correctly," he added, noting that the attacks are being referred to as Jewish terrorism.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered the IDF to use all of the resources at its disposal to prevent further “price tag” attacks and to capture the perpetrators of Tuesday’s morning’s attack.

Of the earlier border fence attack, Barak said: “These actions are dangerous and also threaten the delicate ties between Israel and its neighbors."

Yesha Council Charmian Danny Dayan called Col. Kahane Tuesday morning to denounce the incident. "As the head of the Yesha council, and no less as a resident of the zone you command, I know well what important work you and the commanders and soldiers in your division every day and every night for it protection," Dayan said, calling the perpetrators "shameful and ungrateful."

"The perpetrators must turn themselves in, and otherwise they should be arrested and brought to justice," he added.

"These are criminals, Jewish terrorists who are harming the security of Israel," Homeland Security Minister Matan Vilnai said.


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