Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday called for new measures to combat terrorism, including expanding the number of civilian gun permits and revoking the identity cards and residency status of terrorists’ families.
In his opening remarks to the Security Cabinet meeting, Netanyahu noted that he had just visited those wounded in two terrorist attacks in Jerusalem. The first attack, outside a synagogue in the capital’s Neve Yaakov neighborhood, left seven dead and three wounded. The second attack, on Saturday morning, left a father and son seriously wounded.
“This morning we sealed the home of the terrorist who carried out the reprehensible attack in Jerusalem; his home will be demolished,” the prime minister said, adding that the government had also decided to pull national medical insurance rights from families that support terrorism.
“Last night, the Security Cabinet approved a series of steps in the fight against terrorism,” said Netanyahu. “Today, the government will discuss two additional steps: Revoking Israeli identity cards and residency of families of terrorists that support terrorism. We will also expand and expedite the issuing of weapons permits to thousands of Israeli civilians, including those in the rescue services,” he added.
For example, the prime minister noted that only a small percentage of the 3,000 volunteers belonging to the ZAKA emergency response organization were armed.
“Imagine if they and others were armed. Of course, this would significantly increase the response capability, because as we have seen, time and again, including yesterday in the City of David, that heroic, armed and trained civilians save lives,” said Netanyahu.
The shooter in Saturday morning’s attack was neutralized by an off-duty Israel Defense Forces officer.
Netanyahu said that the government also “will decide soon on steps to strengthen settlement in Judea and Samaria in order to make it clear to the terrorists who seek to uproot us from our land that we are here to stay.”
He added that he had also instructed the National Security Council director to evaluate additional steps, that he said would be made public in the near future.
“While we are not seeking escalation, we are prepared for any possibility. Our answer to terrorism is an iron fist and a powerful, swift and precise response,” he said.
The prime minister commended the police for eliminating the terrorist in Friday night’s attack, and Lt. N of the IDF Paratrooper Brigade, who together with his father neutralized the terrorist near Jerusalem’s Old City on Saturday morning.
“The terrorists seek to slaughter us indiscriminately; therefore, we must all unite as one in the relentless fight against them. We will defeat them,” Netanyahu concluded.