Judea And Samaria Leaders Protest At PM’s Office Over Terror Onslaught
Leaders of regional councils from Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley protested outside the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem on Tuesday, demanding tougher action against rampant terrorism that has claimed the lives of 35 people since January.
It was the first time that the regional council heads protested the right-wing government. Although Netanyahu’s coalition was expected to be tough on terrorism, it has struggled to contain the latest wave of attacks.
The protest came a day after Arab terrorists gunned down Batsheva Nigri, a 42-year-old mother of three, in a drive-by shooting near Hebron. Her 12-year-old daughter, who was sitting beside her, was unhurt.
“The situation is intolerable. We demand a change in the approach to security. The continued rise in murderous terror incidents shows the current approach has failed and should be changed quickly,” said the council leaders in a joint statement.
Yesha Council Chairman and leader of the Gush Etzion Council Shlomo Ne’eman said during the protest: “We must define the Palestinian Authority that finances terrorism, teaches terrorism and organizes terrorism as an enemy in all respects and go to war.”
“The residents of Judea and Samaria were ready to “absorb the battle” but were not prepared to be sitting ducks in a shooting gallery,” said Ne’eman.
Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan said, “We are very embarrassed that we have to be here in front of the Prime Minister’s Office of a right-wing government. We support this government. We supported thousands of volunteers so that this government would be established, and we want it to be strong.”
Not everyone from the region supported the protest against the government. Efrat Mayor Oded Revivi sharply criticized the regional heads for holding the protest.
“This is the time to stand together against the enemy and to send him a strong and determined message that we won’t move from this strip of land and that we’re certain the army knows its job also facing the difficult challenge that lays before us.”
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said on Tuesday, “The security apparatus is working with all the means at its disposal to thwart terrorism in Judea and Samaria. Along with the operational effort, we will exhaust the legal options and exact a heavy price from the terrorists, their dispatchers and their supporting environment.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Iran for the upswing in terrorism while visiting the site of the attack near Hebron on Monday.
“It must be understood that a considerable portion of this terrorist wave comes as a result of outside guidance. We are using means, and we will use yet more, both offensive and defensive, to settle accounts with the murderers and those who dispatch them, near and far,” the prime minister said.
Produced in association with Jewish News Syndicate
Edited by Judy J. Rotich and Newsdesk Manager
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