Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) responded on Thursday to the stabbing attack at Sha'ar Binyamin Industrial Zone, and in his comments referenced IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot's statements the day before discouraging "excessive" force against terrorists.
Eizenkot had said IDF soldiers must not "empty a clip into a 12-year-old female terrorist with scissors," and further disparaged a famous Talmudic maxim, saying "the IDF cannot speak in slogans like 'when someone comes to kill you – kill him first.'”
"Just an hour ago two Israelis were wounded in Binyamin by the stabbings of terrorists," wrote Katz on his Facebook page. "The terrorists were trapped and kept alive."
"I hope that the Chief of Staff's statements condemning automatic fire were not mistakenly interpreted and caused hesitation and an endangerment of life."
In the attack the two Arab terrorists seriously wounded a 21-year-old and moderately wounded a 35-year-old as they were shopping at the local Rami Levy supermarket. An armed civilian shot the attackers, allowing them to be apprehended.
Katz said, "the limitations and the codes are clear, but it cannot be that terrorists who attack Jews come out alive."
Eizenkot's comments to high-schoolers in Bat Yam on Wednesday caused anger among senior police officials, and MK Bezalel Smotrich (Jewish Home) asked Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon (Likud) to summon Eizenkot in for a talk over the statement.
However, Ya'alon on Thursday defended the IDF Chief of Staff's controversial statements, saying "we cannot...lose our humanity."
Regarding the open-fire orders, last August the protocols were made even tighter, mandating soldiers in Judea and Samaria to only fire in the air, and not even shoot the lower extremities of an attacker other than in extreme cases of imminent life-threatening danger. In May, it was reported that IDF soldiers were told to avoid killing terrorists, even if they spot them as they are about to throw a potentially lethal firebomb or rock at a car.