Yesha Council leaders at the Knesset
Yesha Council leaders at the Knessetnone

Shlomo Ne'eman, Gush Etzion Regional Council head and Chairman of the Yesha Council; and Shira Livman, CEO of the Yesha Council, spoke Tuesday at a special discussion between the Subcommittee for Judea and Samaria and the Foreign Affairs and Defense committees at the Knesset. The meeting was chaired by MK Moshe Solomon (Religious Zionism).

"There are more than half a million residents of Judea and Samaria who are just as entitled to security, as every other citizen of the State of Israel," Ne'eman said. "However, the reality of today is that our women and children are attacked daily. These attacks cannot be dealt with the standard way using terror squads."

"We rely on the IDF and security forces who operate tirelessly day and night, but we require additional solutions to deal with the raging Arab violence.

"We demand that that the open-fire regulations for citizens who carry weapons be adapted to the current reality. At present, citizens who carry weapons are restricted by several de facto regulations which do not allow the prevention of stone-throwing incidents in real time," he emphasized.

"In addition, Arab hostilities demand a much broader response than using tweezers to pluck out the problems. They are no longer deterred and the only action left to take is collective punishment. The whole village should be punished, because there is no other way. The entire village should have their work licenses revoked until they settle down. Dealing with Arab hostilities effectively has still not been established other than collective punishment."

Shira Livman, CEO of the Yesha Council added, "You cannot repeat the same thing and expect different results. Incidents of Arab violence are constantly on the rise. Residents of Judea and Samaria have the same rights as any other citizen of Israel and our residents do not deserve to be afraid to travel on the roads."

"We demand from you, from all the representatives present here today, that you understand the magnitude of responsibility that rests on your shoulders, and that you act with all your power until security is restored to the region."