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      Netanyahu: We Won’t Let Radicals Start a Religious War

      Prime Minister says "anyone who dares raise his hand against soldiers and police will pay a heavy price."
      By Gil Ronen
      First Publish: 12/16/2011, 2:08 AM

      Binyamin Netanyahu
      Binyamin Netanyahu
      Flash 90

      Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu promised his supporters in Likud Thursday that "whoever dares raise his hand against soldiers or police will pay a heavy price for it."

      Regarding the recent riot in an army base, he said: "We will arrest the rioters, we will distance them and we will try them. There will be no discounts."

      He spoke at the Likud convention in Tel Aviv. 

      "We will not allow an extremist group to start a religious war with our neighbors," Netanyahu said. He added that hurting soldiers is a grave matter, whether it happens at the Ephraim Brigade Base or at Naalin – a hot spot for Arab and leftist violence.

      "A small, extremist group must not be allowed to besmirch the settlers of Judea and Samaria, which is a loyal and law abiding populace," he stressed. "We will not let them desecrate mosques o hurt Arabs and Jews."

      The Likud Central Committee convention approved Netanyahu's request to hold elections for the movement's leadership in late January.