Israeli Citizens' Anger Over Lack of Security Boils Over

Aharonovich received with catcalls and anger at scene of the Tel Aviv attack. Citizens complain of lack of security, echoed by MKs.

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Cynthia Blank,

aharonovich at stabbing scene
aharonovich at stabbing scene
Amir Levy/Flash90

When Public Security Minister Yitzchak Aharonvich arrived at the scene of Monday's stabbing attack in south Tel Aviv, residents and onlookers responded less than kindly. 

Angry citizens cried out: "Go console people at the homes of terrorists," and "We have no security in south Tel Aviv."

Some citizens also chanted "Death to terrorists", and someone in the crowd shouted at Aharonovich: "The leftists are allowing our blood to be spilled. Our blood will not be spilled freely."

Police and security guards separated the crowd from the minister, who did not respond to any of the catcalls or charges. 

Aharonovich has faced increasing criticism this past year, particularly since the start of the "silent intifada" in Jerusalem.

Jerusalem's Jewish residents have steadily blamed him for allowing rioting and violence to continue in the capital. Even Arab citizens protesting the shooting of Hir Alhamdan in Kafr Kana vented frustration on the minister. 

"The feeling among Arabs and Jews is similar: there's a lack of confidence here," Ahmed Ghanem, a Haifa resident and former Haifa City Council member, stated.

Tel Aviv District Commander Benzi Sau, who was also at the scene of Monday's first attack, told press: "This is a soldier who was attacked by a minority member from Nablus, who tried to grab his gun. He stabbed him with a knife several times."

Sau stressed that "bystanders came to the aid of the soldier and called the police."  

He continued, "the terrorist fled and was identified by police forces 200 meters away after they searched a four-story apartment building. He was located at the top floor and arrested."

According to preliminary reports, the motivation for the stabbing attack was nationalistic. The suspect, Nur al-Din Abu Hashiya, an 18-year-old from Shechem (Nablus) in Samaria, had illegally entered into sovereign Israeli territory. 

With the help of citizens, who directed police to the building he was hiding in, Hashiya was arrested and taken for medical treatment after being lightly wounded. 



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Many Knesset member have responded to the attack with condemnation. 

Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett, said the attack "demonstrates that the concept of concrete blocks is bankrupt. It is impossible to protect people on the street without putting the firebomb throwers and rioters in prison. That is the right security policy."

Bennett also attacked Palestinian Authority Chairman Abbas calling him "Arafat's successor just in different clothing -  he is a terrorist in a suit and should be treated accordingly."

MK Danny Danon (Likud) also responded to the attack: "We are in an Intifada. I demand that the Prime Minister and the Minister of Internal Security make clear who is sovereign in the State of Israel. Weakness has become part of the process of government decision-making. You can wash words, but you cannot wash policy."

Danon stressed that "Citizens do not see an iron fist against terrorists and this is dragging us into a war of attrition. The Prime Minister is busy with words instead of action." 

MK Miri Regev (Likud) called on the government "to decide on a sequence of actions that will lead to the return of personal security for all the citizens of the state." Regev said, "We should eradicate terrorism while transmitting a clear message that there is a rule of law in Israel."