PM: With ongoing media incitement, PA can’t evade responsibility for terror

Energy and Water Minister Silvan Shalom urges committee overseeing Palestinian prisoners’ release to rescind order.

Silvan Shalom and Netanyahu 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Silvan Shalom and Netanyahu 370
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Palestinian Authority cannot evade responsibility for terrorist attacks while incitement continues against Israel in the official Palestinian media, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Sunday.
Netanyahu’s comments came at the beginning of the weekly cabinet meeting, when he said that Israel viewed gravely the attack on 9-year-old Noam Glick in Psagot, shot at point-blank range by a man who breached the settlement’s security barrier.
“We are not satisfied that because of the [government’s] aggressive security policy, this year has been the quietest in more than a decade,” he said, noting a recent increase in terrorist attacks.
The murderers, Netanyahu said, must understand that these types of attacks won’t help them. “We are here, and we are here to stay,” he declared.
Likud deputy ministers Ze’ev Elkin, Ophir Akunis and Tzipi Hotovely visited Psagot together on Sunday and held a press conference outside the Glick home.
Hotovely called for Netanyahu to stop the release of Palestinian prisoners.
“Just as you acted to show the world the Iranian fraud, you must do the same for the Palestinian fraud,” Hotovely said.
Bayit Yehudi MK Yoni Chetboun also visited Psagot Sunday, and called for an immediate response to the shooting.
“Terror is rearing its head, and we cannot disconnect last night’s event from the other two in recent weeks,” Chetboun said. “Israel received another reminder that while we speak of peace, the other side speaks of war.”
According to Chetboun, “releasing terrorists is the oil on the wheels motivating terror organizations. Terror isn’t stopped by gestures, but by deterrence.”
He called for immediate military action to bring back deterrence in the region.
Energy and Water Minister Silvan Shalom (Likud) told Israel Radio that the attack in Psagot, along with the recent increase in terror, obligates Israel to “rethink” its plans for further prisoner releases, that helped pave the way for the restart of negotiations with the Palestinians.
“We can’t continue to go on all the time as if nothing happened, especially when the condemnations are weak, the steps taken on the ground are not significant, and the incitement continues all the time,” he told Israel Radio.
But there was time before the next planned release, he said, and the committee that is to approve the names of the prisoners to be released was also empowered to decide whether the release should take place as scheduled.
Israel released a group of 26 Palestinian terrorists on August 13 as a gesture to the Palestinians ahead of the renewal of peace talks. The cabinet voted in July to release a total of 104 Palestinian prisoners in stages over the next nine months as part of the diplomatic negotiations.
“The ministerial committee is not a rubber stamp committee, and it has the power to rescind the release of more prisoners,” Shalom said.
Shalom said the recent incidents need to be met with a complete condemnation from the PA.
“The PA needs to know that if this doesn’t happen, the peace process will not have the same motto of the Oslo days or the Rabin government – that we will continue with the peace process as if there were no error, and fight terrorism as if there were no peace process. I don’t think this government will adopt that motto, and if there is terror there will not be peace – they are contradictory,” he said.
Shalom’s Likud colleague, Transportation Minister Israel Katz, told Israel Radio that the incident in Psagot proved the release of Palestinian prisoners was a mistake.
Katz said that the government should insist on a new formula for peace talks with the Palestinians, which thus far have been conducted “under the threat of terrorism.”
PA President Mahmoud Abbas “hasn’t lifted a finger” to prevent attacks and incitement against Israel, he said.
President Shimon Peres characterized Saturday’s shooting as an act of terror which must be condemned, and declared that an end must be put to hostilities both inside and outside Israel.
Peres spoke by phone with Noam’s father, Israel Glick, expressed his concern for the child’s welfare, and asked the father to convey his most sincere wishes that Noam should have a full and speedy recovery.
Jerusalem Post staff, Tovah Lazaroff and Greer Fay Cashman contributed to this report.