Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu opened the weekly Sunday morning cabinet meeting with a discussion of the tension surrounding the Temple Mount.
"In the past few days I have given instructions to reinforce the security forces on the Temple Mount and in the Old City, in order to prevent attacks and disturbing of the peace, and to act forcefully against lawbreakers," Netanyahu said.
According to him, "In order to carry out the mission, we have provided police with significant reinforcements as necessary. I have instructed to transfer to police, and the Cabinet also approved this, a budget of up to 100 million shekels for the development and acquisition of technology to create solutions that will increase security. These two weeks were non-stop for our security forces, who are on constant alert for further major challenges in the coming days as well. "
"I would like to thank, in the name of all of Israel's citizens, our commanders and soldiers, the policemen and Shin Bet agents who work day and night to protect us all. I greatly appreciate their work and their deep dedication to the security of Israel. "
Later, Netanyahu addressed public criticism of his decisions. "I understand the feelings, and I know that the decision we made is not an easy one, but as Prime Minister of Israel, as one who bears responsibility for Israel's security, I have to make the decisions with composure and consider all the factors. I do this from a perspective over the entire map - a broad view of the challenges and threats facing us, some of which are not known to the public, and naturally I cannot elaborate about them. "
"I understand the public's feelings, and I also understand what the duty of leadership is, of those who sit in this chair and shoulder the ultimate responsibility for Israel's security - and I act accordingly. I say to our enemy on all fronts: The IDF, the Shin Bet and the Israel Police are ready to act with all their might against anyone who tries to harm our citizens, our soldiers, and our policemen. This is how we have acted and this is the way we will continue to act," Netanyahu concluded.