'A very difficult incident for our security forces'

Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan responds to this morning's terror attack in Negev Bedouin settlement.

Nitzan Kedar ,

Terror attack scene
Terror attack scene
Israeli Police

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan responds to this morning's events in the Bedouin Umm al-Hiran settlement in the Negev.

Thirty-four year old policeman Erez Levy was murdered during an operation early Wednesday morning to demolish illegal buildings in the locality. A jeep charged at a group of policemen before the evacuation commenced. Police responded by firing at the driver, killing him. Another person was killed, and a moderately wounded person was evacuated to Soroka Hospital in Beersheva. The driver apparently belonged to the Islamic Movement and is an employee of the Israeli education system.

Clashes took place, during which MK Ayman Odeh sustained minor injuries after being hit in the head with a stone apparently thrown by a Bedouin at security forces.

"This is a difficult incident for our forces and for Israel in general. A terrorist belonging to the Islamic Movement raced toward our forces in order to kill as many police officers as possible even before the evacuation.

"I hope that this day will not mark a turning point in relations between Bedouin and state authorities but if so, MK Odeh has made a very large contribution to this process."

Erdan added, "There is a Supreme Court decision and it will be executed, also in Umm al-Hiran. Police forces have no discretion whether to perform a mission, that's how it is in a democratic country.

"Negotiations have been underway for weeks, and the body who ran them are state officials facing residents. Odeh is not a party to negotiations.

"He was there to inflame passions and incite violence. What happened tonight is that a terrorist ran over police who were there, and Odeh was among those fanning the flames. Currently the police are compiling an assessment. Violence and terror will not defeat the law," said Erdan.