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Will Yaalon Pull the Trigger on Rock Terrorism?

Expert says new defense minister's test is whether he will nip new unrest in the bud.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 4/4/2013, 6:30 PM

Vice PM Yaalon
Vice PM Yaalon
Flash 90

Prof. Alex Blei, the Head of the Center for Middle East Research at Ariel University and the former Arab Affairs Advisor to the Prime Minister, told Arutz Sheva Thursday that the wave of riots in Judea and Samaria following the cancer death of a terrorist prisoner is an attempt by Mahmoud Abbas to show that he still controls things on the ground.

"Abu Mazen [Abbas – ed.] is trying to take advantage of a regrettable event that we have no connection to, in order to bolster his standing vis-à-vis Hamas," Blei said. "He wants to show that his is the hand that controls matters."

This is when the mettle of incoming Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon is tested, the expert added. "Yaalon criticized his predecessor, rightly, and I hope that he indeed nips these riots in the bud and that we will not see soldiers running away from the scene of an event," he said.

Prof. Blei said it is time to change the rules of engagement. "People need to understand that rocks kill. I can't shake the image of two-year-old Adelle from before my eyes. The heart aches. I am asking – is it not time to change the rules for opening fire?"