Thousands demonstrate in front of Prime minister's Residence
Thousands demonstrate in front of Prime minister's Residence Hadas Parush/Flash90

Thousands took part Monday evening in a rally of protest and pain, combined with hakafot shniyot dancing, outside the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem. The protesters demanded that Israel take off its gloves in the fight against Arab terrorism, following a wave of savage and murderous attacks in recent days.

Welfare Minister Haim Katz (Likud) told the crowd: “I look at the thousands who came for hakafot shniyot, as well as for protest on the evil people who murder us, and we came here stronger then ever and strengthened.

"We came here to demand that the government of Israel take action along two plains,” he added. “Toughen punishment, and at the same time widen the construction throughout Judea and Samaria and set up new communities. I am calling upon Netanyahu – defeat terror, he is the only one who can.”

Har Hevron Regional Council Head Yohai Dimri called on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to fight terror resolutely and to declare Israeli sovereignty on all of Judea and Samaria. He questioned the narrative often propounded by security officials, according to which most current terror attacks are "lone wolf" operations.

Referring to the recent horror in Jerusalem, he asked: "When Adele [Benita] ran with a knife in her back and no Arab helped her – is that a lone wolf? When children throw rocks and firebombs, is that a lone wolf? Mr. Prime Minister, and I quote you – 'if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck.' There are hundreds and thousands of terror supporters. They are enemies and enemies must be fought."

"The only way to fight the terror is to strengthen the settlement enterprise. Where there is no light, there is terror, and it is your job to add light by settling. Apply sovereignty throughout Judea and Samaria."

'You can hear the Arabs rejoicing'

Rabbi Elyakim Levanon, the Rabbi of Samaria, told the audience that he had just come from the location where two Jewish parents - Eitam and Naama Henkin - were murdered in front of their children.

"I come here from the Beit Furik Junction, a few meters from where the Henkins were murdered, and you can hear the Arabs rejoicing. Mr. Prime Minister, when a soldier who kills a terrorist is interrogated by the Military Police – does that mean you are giving the IDF the tools to fight terror? Soldiers are dismissed from their positions!

"Faith is the response to terror. The terrorists need to be caught before the attack, and that can only be done by lifting the spirits and renewing the spirit of courage, and that will bring about the victory of Israel."

Adva Biton, whose daughter Adele was murdered in a rock ambush in Samaria, also attended the rally.

"Only eight months ago, I buried my daughter," she said.

"It is time to understand that we are fighting against an enemy, and not just in Judea and Samaria, but everywhere in Israel. We, the bereaved parents are not some pets who need pity. Our strength is in our unity. The struggle for the Land of Israel is not political; it is a struggle for the faith and for our existence in the Land of Israel."

MK Oren Hazan (Likud) announced that he would be joining the Samaria Regional Council's protest tent outside the Prime Minister's Residence from tonight.

"We stand beside the prime minister in the struggle against terror and construction in settlement," Hazan said. "It is time that we deal a death blow to the head of the snake. They throw a rock, and we will build a house. They throw a firebomb and we build a community. They fire a burst of bullets and we will build a city."

MK Oren Hazan at prayer rally/protest
MK Oren Hazan at prayer rally/protest Hadas Parush/Flash90

While some in the crowd chanted anti-Arab slogans, Samaria Regional Council Head Yossi Dagan replied: “We wish for life, construction and settlement. We are tired of talk, we want deeds.

"We stand here and demand security from Netanyahu. The enemies of Israel must be hunted down and the terror infrastructures must be hit. There should be new communities in Judea and Samaria, and construction in Jerusalem. A new community should be built between Itamar and Elon Moreh.”

Dagan has kept a constant vigil in front of the Prime Minister's Residence since Friday, in protest over the murders of Rabbi Eitam and Naama Henkin.

Mixing joy with sadness

The demonstration also included hakafot shniyot, dancing with the Torah, a custom Jewish Israelis observe to extend the Shmini Atzeret/Simchat Torah holiday slightly and leave the High Holiday season with joy.

Afterwards, the rally began, with Likud ministers Yariv Levin and Haim Katz and the regional council heads of Judea and Samaria joining the crowd.

"We came here to shout" Enough! Enough!", Dagan stated. "We did not go to [US President Barack] Obama or the EU. We are here because the prime minister is responsible," Dagan stated. "What was will be no more. You cannot continue to bow to terrorism."

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin also spoke at the rally.

"Those who think that terrorism can beat us here today see us and understand: it's impossible to win," said Levin. "I hope that the Cabinet will now make appropriate and courageous decisions."

"There is a link between terrorism and a speech by the terrorist, [PA Chairman] Mahmoud Abbas," he added. "The Palestinian Authority and its leader are the heart of the problem."

"The man who finances terrorism does not want peace," he said. "Security is the key to settlement and tonight I hope to hear that building permits have been approved, so we can defeat terrorism the Jewish way."

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