Calling Israelis who assist Palestinians in entering Israel "despicable villains," Internal Security Minister Gideon Ezra
lashed out at the phenomenon and called for more severe punishments for such accomplices.
Ezra spoke hours after a suicide bomber blew himself up outside a mall in Netanya
, killing five people. The bomber was identified as an Islamic Jihad
activist from a small village near Tulkarm
. Police are searching for a car with Israeli license plates that allegedly transported the bomber from the West Bank to Netanya.
"There is a serious problem that cars with yellow [Israeli] license plates transport Palestinian and as a result assist terrorists in crossing into Israel," Ezra said. "These accomplices are despicable villains and this phenomenon needs to be completely uprooted."
Ezra said that the police have launched operations in the past against Israeli accomplices but "the wheels of justice move slowly and the system does not issue harsh enough punishments."
Claiming that the West Bank security fence was fully erected in the Sharon area and effective in stopping Palestinians from entering Israel, Ezra said Monday that the police and the IDF needed to increase supervision over the border crossings.
"The Palestinian Authority is clearly not doing enough," Ezra said. "Whatever they won't do however, we will do. If they don't take action against terrorists then we will reevaluate our steps and will increase supervision at crossings between Israel and the West Bank even at the expense of a heavy [humanitarian] price."
Ezra added that the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) did not have intelligence warnings regarding this specific attack in Netanya but, he said: "There is no doubt that the Shin Bet and the police will act fast and will put their hands on the people responsible. We will continue fighting against these terrorists who plot attacks against the State of Israel