Netanyahu Declares 'War' on Rock-Throwing Rioters

Prime Minister tours spot where Arabs murdered a Jewish motorist, vows to empower soldiers, police.

Hezki Baruch , | updated: 3:00 PM

Netanyahu on Highway 443
Netanyahu on Highway 443
Reuven Castro

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Wednesday toured the spot where Arabs murdered a Jewish motorist in Jerusalem three days earlier and said he was declaring war on firebomb and rock terror.

"We are changing policy,” Netanyahu said. “The existing situation is unacceptable and we intend to give the tools – to both soldiers and policemen – to take very severe action against the rock throwers and the firebomb throwers.

"The rock does not distinguish between a car that was struck here, killing an Israeli, and a rock that is thrown inside the Green Line," he said. "We are going to adopt changes in the open-fire orders and in implementing minimum sentences for throwing firebombs and rocks.”

Netanyahu, accompanied by Minister of Internal Security, Gilad Erdan, Transport Minister Yisrael Katz and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, also toured Highway 443, a major thoroughfare leading to Jerusalem, where Arabs have recently begun targeting vehicles as well.

Netanyahu said that the change would not be limited to Jerusalem and would also be implemented in the Galilee and Negev. He added that the fines against minors and their families would be greatly increased, in cases of rock and firebomb attacks.

Regarding the Temple mount, Netanyahu said: “We are in favor of strict adherence to the status quo on the Temple Mount. The status quo is constantly being breached by inciters, violent rioters who hole up on the Temple Mount, who abuse Jewish worshippers, or rather – Jewish visitors. This is also unacceptable to us, and we are dealing with this matter, too, while involving Jordan and talking with it – and not just with it.”

At the location where Levlovich was murdered, Netanyahu said: “Here, in the heart of Jerusalem, on a traffic island, on a central road, a hooligan and a criminal stood here on a traffic island, took a rock and threw it, time after time, into the front windshield of cars of Jerusalem residents, until he was able to cause death – that is not killing, it is murder.”

"This stone is one too many. We are declaring war on those who throw stones and bottles, and rioters."

Border Police forces carried out three arrests before dawn Wednesday at the the Tzur Baher neighborhood in southeastern Jerusalem, following a rock ambush that killed a Jewish man on Sunday evening, Rosh Hashana.

Alexander Levlovitz (64) lost control of his car after Arab terrorists hurled a rock into it, and died in the ensuing crash, as he returned home following a the festive Rosh Hashana meal marking the Jewish New Year.