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'When Checkpoints Come Down, Blood is Spilled'

Dozens of MKs, activists and grieving locals have blamed a weak response to terrorism for the murderous attack in Bat Ayin.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 4/2/2009, 5:01 PM

Members of Knesset, activists, and grieving residents of Judea said Thursday that a murderous attack in Bat Ayin was made possible by policies that focused on appeasing the Palestinian Authority while ignoring the security needs of local Jews.



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"It's been proven again – when checkpoints and junctions are opened to PA traffic, Jewish blood is spilled,” said members of the Gush Etzion-Hevron Regional Council that covers the area in which Bat Ayin is located.

Members of the Development Council of Binyamin and Samaria called the attack “a direct result of the policy of eased restrictions and checkpoint removal led by Defense Minister Ehud Barak.”

Criticism of government policy was heard from within the Knesset. "We've warned for several weeks that removing checkpoints and the policy of easing restrictions for the PA would lead to disaster,” said Ichud Leumi (National Union) MK Michael Ben-Ari.

MK Aryeh Eldad of NU also linked the removal of checkpoints in Judea to the fatal attack. Eldad accused the government of weakening local security details in Judea and Samaria and called on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to “explain to the Defense Minister that with the new government comes a new policy regarding Arab terrorism.”

Several Likud MKs voiced criticism of government policy as well. MK Tzipi Hotobelli called on the Likud-led government to “cease the policy of easing security restrictions for Palestinians immediately... and restore security to residents of Judea and Samaria.”

Likud faction head Zeev Elkin said, “The Palestinian terrorist groups are again revealing their true face to the world. Our hearts are with the residents of Gush Etzion at this trying time.”

The attack proves the hypocrisy of terrorists who complain about Israel, Elkin said. “Whoever sends a terrorist with an axe in his hand to murder innocent children shouldn't come and preach to us in the name of justice and peace,” he said.

Residents of Judea called to “restore Jewish deterrence by taking a tough approach to Arab terrorism.” They also warned against opening junctions in the Hevron region that are scheduled to be opened to PA traffic in the upcoming days.