Ben-Eliezer: IDF should've shot base attackers

Political leaders condemn "price-tag" attacks on IDF soldiers, call for culprits to be "punished to full extent of law."

Binyamin Ben Eliezer (photo credit: Courtesy)
Binyamin Ben Eliezer
(photo credit: Courtesy)
MK Binyamin Ben-Eliezer (Labor) said on Wednesday that the IDF should have shot at the activists that attacked soldiers earlier this week.
"The gang of criminals took a brick, threw it at an officer's head and almost killed him," he said during a Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee meeting with head of the IDF Manpower Directorate, Maj.-Gen. Orna Barbivai. "Too bad the IDF didn't arrest anyone; too bad they didn't shoot; too bad they didn't react."
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The former defense minister said that if someone tries to kill an IDF soldier, it shouldn't matter if the person is Jewish or Arab.
"Whoever comes to kill you – kill him first. This is terror. I was witness to such terror in 1995, which ended in a prime minister being killed. If I were [Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu], I would be very concerned," Ben-Eliezer said.
The Labor MK called for a "lethal reaction" from the IDF and Shin Bet to stop the "price tag" phenomenon.
MK Arye Eldad (National Union) responded by saying that there clearly are too many crazy people, and that the IDF must stop "price tag" activists from harming soldiers and innocent Arabs, but some sanity must be brought into the situation.
"Jews shouldn't through rocks and IDF soldiers, and IDF soldiers shouldn't, God forbid, shoot at Jews," he said. "Whoever calls to shoot settlers is trying to light a fire in hope that he can build his future on the ashes."
Later, in an interview with Israel Radio, Ben-Eliezer clarified that most of the settlers, who are loyal to the law and serve in the IDF, should be the "eyes and ears" of the state in the West Bank, and should not be afraid to raise their voices and try to stop rioters.
Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Shaul Mofaz (Kadima) opened the meeting by criticizing the violence against IDF soldiers, saying that the committee will defend soldiers and ensure that those who try to harm them will be stopped.
"I call on the prime minister: The time for condemnation is over. Now is the time for action," Mofaz said. "Put an end to this criminal, terrorist activity."
Also Wednesday, Intelligence Agencies Minister Dan Meridor condemned the price-tag incidents, saying that the "wild, violent attack is not the first time red lines have been crossed."
"Now, it's come to harming our soldiers, raising a hand to our army and our police and challenging the state," Meridor said at the Knesset plenum. "They must be punished to the full extent of the law."
Meridor added: "We must stop this fire – it may only burn the edges of society now, but it could burn us all."
Michael Omer-Man contributed to this report.