The Security Cabinet has approved a series of measures designed to fight the current Arab terror wave, which is typified by large scale daily firebomb and rock attacks by youths.
The Cabinet calls the measures “uncompromising.”
Among the decisions – which were unanimously approved – is a change in the instructions to police regarding opening fire against terrorists, and the use of nonlethal sharpshooting guns.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu laid out the changes in a statement Thursday evening. These include:
- Giving police instructions to open fire when there is danger to anyone's life – and not just their own.
- Minimum sentences of four years in jail for adults who throw firebombs, rocks or other deadly objects.
- Enlarged fines and minimum fines against minors aged 14-18 who engage in terrorism and their parents.
In addition, minimum fines may be established for parents of minors aged 12-14 engaged in terrorism, and a security deposit payment for parents of children under 12.
"I would like to say one more thing about the Temple Mount,” Netanyahu said, in a statement that appeared to be meant for Jordan's King Abdullah II. “We are maintaining the status quo. We are not the ones breaking it. All the statements that are being spread around, about our intention to harm Islam's holy sites, are complete nonsense. We are not the ones changing the status quo – whoever puts pipe bombs with explosive material inside them is changing the status quo.”
"Of course, we will take action to maintain law, order and peace,” he added. “We say this to all our neighbors and we also call on the Palestinian Authority to stop the wild incitement.”
The Palestinian Authority (PA) and its leading Fatah faction have long incited violence on the Temple Mount, and they have outdone themselves this month in inciting for more attacks. The largest single example of incitement came from PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas himself, who last Wednesday called for violence on the Mount, saying on the official PA TV station: "the Al-Aqsa (Mosque) is ours...and they (Jews) have no right to defile it with their filthy feet," while praising "martyrs" who spill blood in Jerusalem for Allah.
He repeated that call this Tuesday by warning of an impending "intifada" terror war.
Meanwhile, King Abdullah II of Jordan is refusing to answer calls from Netanyahu as the two countries continue to clash over Israel's response to violent Arab rioting on the Temple Mount.
According to Jordanian and Arab press, Channel 2 reports, the Jordanian Foreign Ministry has also declined to accept diplomatic messages of reconciliation from the Prime Minister's Office in recent days.
Sources in Jordan add that the kingdom has "changed its diplomatic tactics" in response to Israeli actions on the Temple Mount, conducting a "mini-boycott" on the Jewish state.