Premier vows zero tolerance for extremists
Updated: 2015-08-04 07:42
By Associated Press in Jerusalem(China Daily)
Israel's security Cabinet has approved new measures against Israelis who attack Palestinians, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying his government will have zero tolerance for Jewish extremists.
The tough talk follows two attacks last week that shocked Israelis.
On Friday, suspected Jewish extremists set fire to a Palestinian home in the West Bank and burned a toddler to death. On Thursday, an ultraorthodox Jew allegedly stabbed revelers at a gay pride parade in Jerusalem, and a 16-year-old girl injured in that attack died of her wounds on Sunday.
The security Cabinet issued a statement on Sunday saying it had directed the security agencies "to take all necessary steps to apprehend those responsible and prevent similar acts". It said the measures would include using administrative detention, under which detainees can be held for months or years without charges.
Israel has defended the administrative detention of Palestinians as being necessary to prevent militant attacks.
At his weekly government meeting, Netanyahu said Israel is united against "the criminals among our people".
Israel is determined to fight "hate, fanaticism and terrorism from whatever side," he said. "This is a matter of basic humanity and is at the foundation of our enlightened Jewish values," he said.
Thousands of Israelis took to the streets over the weekend to protest the attacks and warn against a radicalized and violent fringe growing within the country's religious community.
Several hundred people gathered in Zion Square in central Jerusalem to rally against violence soon after news broke that the teenage girl injured in Thursday's attack had died.
She was among six people wounded when an extremist attacked the parade.
Meanwhile, in the West Bank, a group advocating Israeli-Palestinian coexistence held a prayer vigil with dozens of Israelis and Palestinians.
"We have to look to be neighbors in a good way and to believe that the path to peace is the right one," Ziad Zabateen, a Palestinian from Bethlehem said. "We have no other choice. We have to live together without problems, without violence, without terror, without anything."
(China Daily 08/04/2015 page11)