Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu
Rabbi Shmuel EliyahuFlash90

Tzfat (Safed) Chief Rabbi and Chief Rabbinate member Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu issued a landmark religious ruling Friday, declaring that terrorists captured by civilian bystanders must not be kept alive - and that Israel Police officers who do keep terrorists alive should be prosecuted under the law. 

"We must not allow terrorists to survive their attacks. If you leave him alive, there is a fear that he will be released and kill other people," Rabbi Eliyahu stated Friday. His warnings follow numerous mass terrorist releases, and the release of 78 terrorists by the last government simply as a "gesture" for peace talks.

"We must eradicate this evil from within our midst," he clarified.

Only under extenuating circumstances can Jews leave a terrorist alive given the current circumstances, he said - and then, "he should be prosecuted and sent to hell as soon as possible." 

Rabbi Eliyahu issues the ruling in light of escalating terrorism throughout Israel, and in light of no less than seven stabbing attacks in the past 48 hours alone - and hundreds of rock-throwing and firebomb attacks being reported on a daily basis. 

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon (Likud) have so far responded by toughening measures against terrorist offenders, including changing the rules of engagement for police.

However, they have declined from ordering a wide-scale operation into the Palestinian Authority (PA) ruled territories to stop the attacks, claiming that "we have dealt with worse times," and simply calling on the Israeli public to be "resilient."