'We can't tolerate attacks on Israelis in South, J'lem'

Defense Minister Barak addresses the J'lem bombing: We are determined to return the quiet; Yishai says escalation "demands action."

Barak 58 reuters (photo credit: Reuters)
Barak 58 reuters
(photo credit: Reuters)
Defense Minister Ehud Barak addressed the bus bombing in Jerusalem on Wednesday, shortly after returning from the United States.
Barak, prior to entering into a briefing with Chief of General-Staff Benny Gantz and Homeland Security Minister Matan Vilna'i, said that "we cannot tolerate attacks on Israeli citizens, not in the southern communities and not in Jerusalem."
RELATED:'J'lem terror attack doesn't represent a move backwards'
Netanyahu delays Russia trip after explosionShortly after returning from the United States, Barak said that as far as Israel is concerned, "Hamas is responsible for the firing of rockets at Beersheba today and that responsibility has a price.""The IDF will continue to act in order to protect citizens of the country and take preemptive action along the Gaza border fence," the defense minister said. "There will be highs and lows; not everything will end tomorrow, but we are determined to return the quiet and security."
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon also strongly condemned the attacks issuing a statement saying, "This afternoon a brutal terrorist attack occurred, which constitutes a direct continuation of increasing violence influenced by the incitement of the Palestinain Authority.  At the beginning of the week the Palestinians openly published and declared that they have abandoned the peace negotiations and intend to act unilaterally towards the international community and declare a Palestinian State without the consent of the parties.  The declaration of abandonment of the peace process is a green light to terrorism and we will not agree to this."
Ayalon called upon the foreign media and international community to publicly condemn the murderous acts of terror and to pressure Palestinians to abandon their policy of "unilateralism" and to cease the glorification of terrorism.
Interior Minister Eli Yishai called for Israel to act after the bombing in Jerusalem and the rocket attacks in the South on Wednesday.
"I see the escalation is already here in a number of fronts - in the South and also in Jerusalem," Yishai said while visiting the scene of the explosion.
He added that "recent events require us to take action. If we don't do this we will lose our power of deterrence."
Yishai refused to specify what kind of action Israel should take. "I think it would be better not to say what to do or not do," Yishai explained, "but to require us to take action."
Opposition leader Tzipi Livni said that there is a connection between the attacks in Beersheba and Jerusalem and that force must be used against Hamas and other extremist groups.
"We must understand that these attacks were premeditated," Livni said as she visited the area in Beersheba which was struck by the 122 mm. Grad rocket. "It looks as if the same extremist organizations will try to exploit the situation as a way to strengthen themselves and weaken the state of Israel, which cannot allow itself to appear weak."
"We must act with force towards Hamas and other extremist organizations which do not accept our existence," she continued. "When we were in the same situation in the past, we decided to act with force against Hamas - which returned our deterrence. Today, they are trying to gain strength, therefore the only way to deal with them is through force."
MK Nachman Shai (Kadima) also reacted to the attacks on the South and in Jerusalem.
"I fear that something happened, and without us noticing the warfare began again in the South, along with terror in the heart of Jerusalem," Shai said at a Knesset discussion on the escalation in the south.
"Apparently the quiet period is ending and I say this with great pain and sadness," he added.
Likud MK Miri Regev said that, "Israel must prepare for a second Operation Cast Lead and not allow the terror to continue out of control. Homes of the terrorists and those who sent them should be destroyed because terrorists' conditions in prison are too good."
Meretz faction chairman MK Ilan Gilon said that, "The terror attack in Jerusalem is a despicable act that awakens difficult memories. Israel cannot accept the renewal of terror in its cities and the murder of civilians. The terrorists must understand that the Israeli refusal to live with terror and the recognition that there is no choice but to strike back against it are a national consensus. The prime minister must understand that continuing the diplomatic freeze creates fruitful ground for terrible incidents such as these."
MK Ariyeh Eldad (National Union) said that, "the attack in the center of Jerusalem and the rocket fire in the South are part of the hundred years war by the Arabs, who want to eliminate the state of Israel." He continued, "The state of Israel responded very hesitantly to recent terror attacks and the prime minister is once again sending hints of surrender and of promises for a second Bar Ilan speech, all of which, encourages the terror organizations."
Eldad added, "All of the warnings sounded by settlers in recent months of an increasing wave of stones, Molotov cocktails and other attacks were met with a solid wall and denial on the part of the security apparatus." Today, he said, "Jerusalem residents have paid the price of ignoring reality."
Likud MK Danny Danon said that "this is not the proper time to work to advance absurd peace initiatives put together with the American government, but rather, it is the time to fight against Palestinian terror."