Gilad Erdan
Gilad ErdanMarc Israel Sellem/POOL

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) responded on Wednesday morning to the terror attack in illegal Arab settlement Umm Al-Hiran, saying, "This is a difficult event for our security forces and for the entire State of Israel.

"A terrorist who belongs to the Islamic Jihad movement sped his vehicle towards our forces, in an attempt to kill as many police officers as possible.

"I hope this day will not mark a turning point in the State's relationship with the Bedouin community. But if it does, I will have to thank MK Ayman Odeh (Joint Arab List) for his great contribution to the matter.

"The Supreme Court has decided the homes in Umm Al-Hiran are illegal and must be destroyed," Erdan said. "The police force has no choice in the matter, they must do as they are told. That's how a democratic country works.

"The Israeli government held negotiations with the residents for several long weeks. Odeh is not the one who decides what happens, and he is not the one in charge of negotiations."

Erdan also blamed Odeh for incitement to violence, saying, "He was there in order to fan the flames and incite violence. What happened last night was that a terrorist carried out a ramming attack on police officers who were at the scene, and Odeh was among those who fanned the hate.

"Israeli Police are currently evaluating the situation. Violence and terror will not be allowed to defeat the law.

"After this morning's events, I have heard more and more calls of incitement, which warp the true series of events. I call on all the Joint Arab List MKs to stop the incitement. Anything said now may have horrific results on the ground. Take responsibility for your words and stop inciting to terror and fanning the flames of hate!"

Construction Minister Yoav Galant (Kulanu) also responded to Wednesday's events, saying, "The Bedouin violence we saw this morning is one of the worst we've seen in the south for several years. We must respond to it firmly and with unwavering determination. Israel is a country of laws."

Galant called on the Israeli Police and Gilad Erdan to reinforce the police presence in the south. In addition, he called for the other illegal buildings in Umm Al-Hiran to be destroyed within several hours.

"An event in which a terrorist uses the chaos of destroying illegal buildings to kill Israelis is an event which shows the world what the potential of terror can be. The Bedouin community incites against the State and Israeli authority. Security forces must respond immediately to return order to Israel's south. The State of Israel cannot allow terror cells to exist in the Negev," Galant said.

"MKs cannot use their status to disrupt security forces. The fact that MKs from the Joint Arab List participated in this protest stirs up the public and encourages violence.

"We must not pass the plan which was suggested this week and which would give millions of NIS in special aid to the Bedouin population. We will not allow aid to be used to build more illegal settlements.

"I call on all the sides to help restore calm and listen to the orders of security forces and to Israel's laws," Galant concluded.