In recent months, the number of attacks against Israelis in Judea and Samaria have climbed, prompting some to call the current situation the beginnings of a “third intifada.” If this is the case, said Economics Minister Naftali Bennett, Israel must do everything it could to prevent another mass Arab uprising against Israel.
Speaking at a meeting of the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) faction Monday, which he heads, Bennett said that events over the summer, “show the signs of being a 'creeping intifada,' with Jews being killed week after week in a horrible manner. Soldiers are kidnapped, soldiers are killed in Hevron, a nine year old girl is shot while she sits in her backyard, and a resident of the Jordan Valley is murdered with axes. We must stop this intifada in its tracks,” he said.
Bennett was referring to a string of recent terror attacks, including the shooting of 20 year old Gabriel (Gal) Kobi in Hevron in September. Days before that, IDF Sergeant Tomer Hazan of Bat Yam was kidnapped and murdered in Samaria.
Only two weeks ago, 9 year old Noam Glick was shot and severely injured as she strolled in the backyard of her home in Psagot. And last weekend, Sariya Ofer, a resident of the Jordan Valley, was killed by two Arabs as he drove near his home.
Bennett also discussed other issues with party members, promising to pass a bill that would require a referendum before Israel agrees to cede land to the Palestinian Authority.
“We will pass this bill. Bayit Yehudi is the only party that can bridge the gaps between different sectors of the nation," he declared.
Bennett then moved on to the issue of national unity - in particular the fierce opposition to his plans to draft hareidi men into the army, which has elicited harsh and sometimes personal attacks from some corners of the hareidi community.
“We will continue to strengthen Jewish identity in Israel,” he said.
“I visited the family of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, and they received me very pleasantly. I felt bad, because I understood from his sons that he had sought to meet with me. Unfortunately that meeting will never take place now.
“This Knesset is one of opportunity,” Bennett added. “The government has passed through its 'birth pangs,' and now we can start to work."