Israeli minister: De-legitimizing Israel legitimizes violence

Public Security Minister Erdan appoints special committee to examine removing privileges of incarcerated terrorists.

Arutz Sheva Staff, | updated: 15:05

International ministers and Minister Gilad Erdan 
International ministers and Minister Gilad Erdan 
Israeli Ministry of Public Security Spokesperson

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) on Wednesday morning spoke at the International Homeland Security Forum, promising to work to crack down on terrorists.

Speaking at the Jerusalem conference, Erdan said he is "appointing a special committee that will examine ways to remove any and all privileges enjoyed by incarcerated terrorists, that go beyond the minimum of what Israeli or international law require."

"Anyone considering carrying out a terror attack for nationalistic or religious reasons must know that he will either pay with his life, or languish many years in prison," he emphasized.

The committee will be led by ex-Police General Shlomo Katabi. Members will include ex-Police General Att. Hanna Kler, Att. Ahud Levy, Police Maj Gen. Avi Vaknin and Shin Beit representative.

Erdan also noted the research on "lone wolf" terror attacks.

The study, which was published earlier this week saying, said: "Since the start of the wave of lone-wolf terror in Israel began in September 2015, we've experienced over 440 serious terror attacks, as well as tens of thousands of stone-throwing and firebomb attacks, which can be deadly as well."

"In the period leading up to the outbreak of these attacks, and especially in the first half year of the terror wave, we were witness to an intense campaign of online and real-world incitement.

"We carried out a ground-breaking study, together with the Israeli Prison Service and Professor Ganor, on the motivations of lone wolf attackers. We found that in a high percentage of cases, the motivation was a mixture of a desire to attack Israel, and personal or psychological issues - for example, a young woman whose husband threatened her with divorce, or a teenage boy who felt socially isolated...."

Regarding his efforts to counter Israel's de-legitimization, Erdan said, "This incitement also included an intense campaign of de-legitimization against the very existence of the State of Israel. And when you de-legitimize a country, you legitimize violence against it."

"The first step that we took to combat radicalization was to outlaw groups leading the incitement. We discovered that groups such as the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement were holding mass rallies to spread the libel that Israel was planning to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and were actually paying young Muslim men and women to riot at sensitive religious sites."

The conference, which will last through Thursday, includes ministers from various nations and focuses on combating terror and cyberterrorism. Participants will assemble a working forum to discuss new ways to combat terror and cyberterrorism among their nations.

Keynote speakers include US Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and Spanish Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido Álvarez.

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