PM calls urgent meeting on settler attack on IDF base

Netanyahu meets with senior security officials after 50 settlers attack IDF base in W. Bank; Vilna'i: Attackers are "Jewish terrorists"; Barak orders IDF to devote full resources to preventing attacks.

December 13, 2011 12:24
2 minute read.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu [file]

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


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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Tuesday convened an emergency meeting with senior security officials in his office following an 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.

Earlier Tuesday Netanyahu
ordered security forces to "act aggressively" against anyone who attacks IDF soldiers, saying, "This 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."

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'Mugrabi Bridge closure is religious war'

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.

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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