Bennett: Time to regulate Ofra

Education Minister says government refusal to demolish terrorist's homes, normalize lives of residents of Judea and Samaria encourage terror

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Flash 90

Education Minister Naftali Bennett at the start f the weekly Jewish Home faction meeting called for the regulation and normalization of the town of Ofra in response to the terrorist shooting attack last night.

"Last night there was a terrible attack at the entrance to the settlement of Ofra, where we have already experienced murderous terror, and we pray for the safety of the young mother who was seriously injured last night. The government of Israel has a basic obligation to all citizens of the state - in the north, in the south, in Judea and Samaria - and in providing security to its citizens. We have t carry it out," Bennett said.

He added that "for a while Palestinian terror has become more brazen and bold. There is a reason for this: Nine weeks have passed since the murder of Kim Levengrond-Yehezkel and Ziv Hajabi at the Barkan industrial zone, and the terrorist has not yet been caught. Why was not he caught? After all, there are collaborators who hide him and there are those who help him. The reason is that these collaborators are simply not afraid. An assistant who currently hides him knows that even if they catch him, his house will not be demolished, he will receive allowances from the Palestinian Authority, maybe he will sit in prison for a while and be considered a hero."

Minister Bennett demanded that the government's policy toward terrorists be changed."The basic problem is that the equation for terrorists is one that is worth being a terrorist. If you murder Jews, they do not destroy more than part of your house, and if you wound them, we do not even ask for the destruction of the house. This is the current policy. And this policy I call upon the prime minister and the defense minister to change immediately. "

"The murderers of Avraham Hasano, of Yanai Weissman, of Livneh Malihi, of Yosef Kirma, of Mickey Mark, of Hadar Buchris, of Adiel Coleman, of Ari Fuld, of Ziv Hajabi and of Kim Levengrond - until this moment they did not destroy the homes of 105 terrorists were not destroyed," he said.

"I call on the defense minister and the prime minister: change the policy, restore deterrence. We have to get out of this conceptual hole, with false morality and a 'fake' law that tells us that we must not strike the terrorists who kill us. It is not morality, it is anti-moral not to destroy their houses. This is the only way to save lives, and to save the lives. We expect to see a big change in security policy now. Our security concept is immersed in a legal, ethical and conscious pit that prevents us from acting. These are handcuffs of false morality that places the enemy above our citizens and fake handcuffs, a law that prevents us from acting.

"The settlement of Ofra was founded many decades ago and up to this moment the residents of Ofra are second class residents in the State of Israel - Ofra is not regulated. They do not know what their future is and this is the opportunity. We call on the prime minister and the defense minister to immediately regulate the settlement of Ofra and give it the status of a regular town in the Land of Israel. The draft legal opinion for normalizing Ofra is already on his desk, and all that he needs is to summon the attorney general and approve it. This way every terror attack will strengthen the settlement rather than weaken it and every terrorist will know that the settlement will be registered in his name. This is a very important test for a government that wants to be called a right-wing government in the days it still has.

He also referred to Operation Northern Shield. "The IDF is carrying out ongoing engineering activity on the northern border that began last week. The process of exposing and destroying the tunnels will take time, and we must show patience and perseverance in order to complete the work."

"At the end of the process, Hezbollah is deprived of a very significant weapon, but Hezbollah's threat certainly does not come off the agenda - they still have 140,000 rockets, some of them precision, which pose a threat we can not accept.

"A few years ago I expressed, first in the cabinet and later on the public level, my perception of Lebanon, and the main point is: Hezbollah and Lebanon, they are one. Hezbollah is Lebanon," added Bennett.

According to him, creating the connecting thread is very important. "This means that Lebanon will not be able to say that Hezbollah is an unruly organization and that it does not bear state responsibility, nor will Israel see such a separation. This is a mistake that was made during the Second Lebanon War and in fact tied our hands to a real response to enemy rockets. Lebanon is against Israel, and [our actions] are seen as an act of war against the sovereign state of Lebanon, with all that entails."