'Deport terrorists families and continue to build'

Minister Ofir Akunis says Israel must adopt harsher measures to deter terror attacks, PA must be treated as an enemy for encouraging attacks

Hezki Baruch ,

Ofir Akunis
Ofir Akunis
Hezki Baruch

Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis (Likud) believes that Israel must significantly boost its deterrence following yesterday's terrorist attack, in which an Arab terrorist ran over a group of IDF soldiers with a truck, killing four and wounding fifteen.

Speaking with Arutz Sheva, Akunis said: "We must now take clear and quick steps. The first step, done as quickly as possible, is the demolition of the house of the terrorist. The second step is that we have to go back to the model of the expulsion of the families [of the terrorists] to Syria, Jordan or Gaza. This would be a very powerful statement. It is not hard to do, and it sends a powerful message to the families of terrorists."

"The other thing which must be done is we must put up a more professional fight against PA incitement. If we identify incitement which the PA initiated, there is a way to stop it." he asserted.

He also said that Israel must continue to build in its capital and its historic heartland. "We need to continue after each attack - whether there is a direct connection or not - continue to build anywhere in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria."

Do you think that the trial of Elor Azariya had an effect on the soldiers at the scene?

"I do not want to directly link the two things and I do not want to step into the shoes of the soldiers at the scene. Of course I have no quarrel with IDF soldiers. I have a big problem with the atmosphere created in Israel during the past year. Unfortunately, when the former defense minister came out with a campaign against this IDF soldier, this deflects the area [of discussion]."

"We hear the voices. The soldiers are afraid of what will happen to them, should they be forced to eliminate a terrorist. Whom did Elor Azariya kill? A bloodthirsty terrorist who came to kill his friends. I think that the [toxic] atmosphere must be stopped. To say that an IDF soldier is not the child of us all ( as the CoS said, ed.)...it's certainly not something that contributes to the atmosphere and can ultimately cause a projection on the [perceptions of the] scene of the attack yesterday."

Were you surprised that the PA did not condemn the attack?

"The Palestinian Authority is encouraging attacks. You have to understand where we live. On the one hand they have state terrorism around the world and on the other hand they give a green light to genuine terrorism. We need to know whom we are dealing with. The Palestinian Authority is an enemy that encourages terrorism and that is how it must be treated."