Security forces must do everything in their power to fight terrorists – and that includes, said Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, implementing “shoot to kill” orders when needed.
Ya'alon made the comments on a visit Tuesday to an army base in Gush Etzion, a day after the stabbing murder of Dalia Lemkos of Tekoa at the Gush Etzion Junction. “I express my condolences to the family,” Ya'alon said.
On the same day as the murder of Lemkos, IDF soldier Almog Shiloni was killed in the heart of Tel Aviv. To the Shiloni family, Ya'alon said, “I also express my condolences. These two terrorist murders were committed by culprits acting on their own, without the backing of any group, and both of them were from Judea and Samaria.
“We are in the midst of an increase in tension, from the incidents on the Temple Mount in recent weeks spreading throughout Jerusalem, to the incidents this week in Judea and Samaria, and even in Tel Aviv. There has also been unrest among Israeli Arabs, unfortunately,” said Ya'alon. “We are not going to allow this tension to grow. We are increasing our forces in Judea and Samaria, in order to prevent a repeat of the attacks we have seen recently.”
Ya'alon also discussed what he called “political ascents” to the Temple Mount. He, like Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his government, has appealed to activists not to “exercise their rights to pray on the Mount at this sensitive time,” he said. “Of course Jews have the right to ascend the Mount, but if the other side sees these ascents as a reason to increase tension, then we cannot be surprised that tension will increase.”
And hinting at the incident Friday, in which an Arab in Kafr Kana was gunned down after he threatened police, Ya'alon came to the defense of Public Security Minister Yitzchak Aharonovich – who himself defended police who killed the knife-wielding suspect, to the chagrin of Arabs throughout the country, who rioted and went on strike over the weekend, vilifying Aharonovich.
“I cannot blame the security personnel involved in this incident,” said Ya'alon. “It must be clear that anyone who comes to kill Jews must be eliminated. Any terrorist who raises a gun, knife, or rock, tries to run over or otherwise attack Jews, must be put to death, depending on the circumstances. This is not a punishment, but a way to prevent additional murders.”