By Calev Ben-David and Jonathan Ferziger
Dec. 15 (Bloomberg) — Israel took new steps to crack down on violence by Jewish-settlement activists after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said their actions against soldiers and security forces had â€œcrossed all lines.â€
The measures announced yesterday, including banning some offenders from their homes in the West Bank, trying them in military courts and bolstering use of the Shin Bet security service in investigating attacks by Jews, came after dozens of settlers stormed an army base this week and threw rocks at soldiers.
The settler community is one of the governmentâ€™s main sources of political support. Peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians have been suspended since last year over Netanyahuâ€™s refusal to accede to demands by the Palestinian Authority, and pressure from the international community, to renew a 10-month freeze on construction in West Bank settlements.
â€œWhile there are some risks that part of Netanyahuâ€™s core constituency will objectâ€ to the steps he is taking, â€œthese are minimal as compared to a few months ago because most Israelis across the board have had enough of this unlawful and dangerous behavior,â€ said Gerald Steinberg, professor of political science at Bar Ilan University outside Tel Aviv. â€œI think Netanyahu has been waiting for an opportunity to take action when the political costs would be very low.â€
Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the incidents â€œhave the characteristics of homegrown terror.â€ President Shimon Peres called the actions at the army base â€œcrazyâ€ and met with settler leaders in a bid to get them to stop the violence.
During the past year a number of mosques were targeted in arson attacks, Palestinian homes and vehicles have been damaged and army bases have been broken into and vandalized by so-called hilltop youth, Jewish settlers who have set up West Bank outposts that havenâ€™t been authorized by Israel. Some of their leaders have warned of a â€œprice tagâ€ policy in which any threatened evacuation by the government is met with acts of violence that have been directed primarily against Palestinians.
Don’t let the MSM censor your news as America becomes Great Again. Over 500,000 Americans receive our daily dose of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness along with Breaking News direct to their inbox—and you can too. Sign up to receive news and views from The 1776Coalition!
We know how important your privacy is and your information is SAFE with us. We’ll never sell
your email address and you can unsubscribe at any time directly from your inbox.