Interview
Minister pushes plan to close off Hevron

Science Minister Ofir Akunis says preventing Palestinians from leaving Hevron could be a significant step in fighting terror.

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Shimon Cohen,

Ofir Akunis
Ofir Akunis
Flash 90

Israel should close off Hevron and the surrounding villages, to prevent Palestinian Arab terrorists from lobbing more attacks against Israelis and Jews, Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis (Likud) stated in a special interview with Arutz Sheva on Monday. 

"From there they reach not only the Gush Etzion junction, but also Tel Aviv and Kiryat Gat, so the answer is very simple: closing it off," Akunis said, in the wake of four separate attacks Monday. "There [should be] no going in or out." 

Akunis rejected the notion that the step could be viewed as unnecessary collective punishment, and thus be hindered by legal and political red tape. If anything, the Palestinian Authority has been doling out "collective punishment" against all Israelis by facilitating the terror war, through an ongoing incitement campaign, he argued. 

Akunis cited as proof the fact that the High Court for Justice itself eventually sanctioned demolishing terrorists' homes - an unusual step for the left-leaning court. 

"By the way, they should not interfere," he added. "The defense system should present its recommendations; if these recommendations follow the law, the court must give them the green light. The High Court does not legislate; its job is to interpret the law." 

"I'm part of the executive branch and I am also part of the legislative authority," he said. "The phenomenon that allows the High Court to set rules on its own is unacceptable [...] the separation of powers is already the norm in the Western world." 

The Minister added that the State of Israel must take additional steps - such as deporting terrorists' families, which has been implemented in the past and caused terrorism to drop. Continuing demolitions and closing Hevron would also help the situation, he opined; he added that he proposed his ideas to various officials at a ministerial meeting before the weekly security Cabinet meeting Sunday. 

Akunis then discussed his decision to expand the scale of Israel's investment in office centers and research facilities in Judea and Samaria - a decision he said was a direct response to the European Union (EU) boycott. 

"I decided that when they boycotted, we would invest, and this policy will continue," he stated. "Those who start a boycott of businesses boycott people, and that moves to marking people [possibly a reference to the 'yellow star' of the Holocaust - ed.].'" 








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