Netanyahu Vows To Fight Incitement And Violence
Prime Minister Netanyahu stressed the need to maintain law and order in both the Jewish and Arab sectors during the cabinet meeting this morning followed the continued tensions in the country.
“When we formed the government, I asked Minister [of Public Security] Erdan and the Inspector General of the Israel Police to make a major effort to change something which has prevailed in the State of Israel for almost 70 years and this is the absence of law enforcement in the Arab sector,” said Netanyahu.
“The citizens there themselves are suffering from increasing crime, and all citizens of Israel are suffering from the incitement and the violence, which is both criminal and nationalistic, that harms all citizens of Israel,” continued Netanyahu.
The sources of incitement in the Israeli Arab and Palestinian population centers have generally been religious rhetoric and educational material, and Prime Minister Netanyahu made it clear that laws against such incitement would be enforced.
“We have decided to make this change and to enforce the law in all areas…in laws regarding the noise that we hear from mosques, in the incitement in mosques and of course on social media, and, sadly, in the education system. And we will pursue the fundamental issue of confiscating illegal weapons found in very great quantities in the Arab sector,” Netanyahu stated.
Netanyahu also expressed the belief that clamping down on these sources of incitement would further help Israel operate as a country run by the rule of law.
“These operations have begun and will be executed in the near future and they will gather momentum because we will go to great lengths to make sure that the State of Israel will be a unified nation of law,” Netanyahu contended. “This applies to all citizens of Israel – Arabs and Jews alike.”
The father of Nashat Milhem, the suspect in Friday’s shooting attack in Tel Aviv, made similar remarks yesterday regarding the need to abide by the rule of law. “I am an Israeli citizen, a law-abiding citizen,” said Muhammad Milhem, a volunteer police officer in northern Israel after the attack.
“I heard what my son has done and I am sorry,” added Milhem. “I did not educate him to act in that way. I went to the police and helped the security forces.”
Netanyahu also stressed that incitement was not being targeted in just the Arab sector. “We are not restricting it to one sector and we are not focusing on only one sector,” Netanyahu said.
The Israeli prime minister’s statement in this regard is corroborated by the Israel Security Agency’s recent interrogation of suspects in the Duma arson case in which a Palestinian baby and his parents were killed last July. Netanyahu said at the cabinet meeting that indictments would be filed against the suspects allegedly involved in the arson attack.
“Two indictments will be filed this morning against those involved in the Duma affair,” Netanyahu said. “We are against murder of any kind. We are against violence of any kind. We are against violations of the law wherever they occur.”