PM demands 'aggressive' action against IDF attackers

Livni: Netanyahu government fuels flames of extremists, leading to violence against IDF; Vilna'i calls attackers "Jewish terrorists"; Barak orders IDF to use full resources to catch perpetrators.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu 311  (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu 311
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu ordered security forces to "act aggressively" against anyone who attacks IDF soldiers, following an incident early Tuesday morning in which 50 settlers and right-wing Jewish activists broke into and vandalized an IDF base in the West Bank and threw stones at a brigade commander.
"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."
'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."
Opposition leader Tzipi Livni accused Netanyahu's government of fueling extremist flames that lead to such violence.
"Settler violence against an IDF base is another level of extremism coming over Israel with its agreement, with silence and a wink from the Netanyahu government, directly or indirectly," Livni said. "Agreeing with proposed extremist bills, silence in the face of extremist rabbis and winking at coalition partners are the fertile ground for growing savagery."
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.
MK Zevulun Orlev (Habayit Hayehudi) on Tuesday condemned the attack, calling it "a blow against the security of the State of Israel."
"It turns out that mercy in the past only invites additional strikes against the IDF," Orlev added.