Edited by: Fern Sidman
Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir addressed the deadly Shabbat shooting attack at a synagogue in the Neve Yaakov neighborhood of Jerusalem during the weekly Otzma Yehudit faction meeting on Monday, Israel National News reported.
“The attack happened on my watch. The responsibility is mine and I do not intend for a moment to run from it,” Ben-Gvir began.
INN reported that he added that subsequent to the deadly attack in which 7 Jews lost their lives when a Palestinian gunman shot them dead in cold blood during Shabbat services, he ordered the demolition of illegal Arab buildings in eastern Jerusalem. “We are destroying houses, we will go from neighborhood to neighborhood. Governance starts with these things. I demanded the imposition a curfew in the neighborhood from which the danger came and to go from house to house and confiscate the weapons. I issued orders to scan the social networks, and to identify and arrest anyone who is carrying a weapon,” Ben Gvir said.
“Due to differences of opinion with the professional authorities, we are still in discussion but are not exhausting this ability, but I have instructed the police to act decisively,” Ben-Gvir added.
INN reported that he further stated that “soon we will introduce the death penalty law for terrorists, those who massacre civilians should get the electric chair.”
According to The Times of Israel, the Otzma Yehudit Knesset member made the announcement following a security cabinet meeting held late on Saturday night, a day after the synagogue attack in which three were also seriously wounded. The terror attack came a day after an Israeli military raid in the town of Jenin in which 9 Palestinians who were plotting deadly terrorist attacks targeting Israelis were killed by IDF forces in the region.
“I hope we will pass it with a big majority,” Ben-Gvir said in a statement, adding that the security cabinet’s newly announced measures are “important”.
He also said he wanted “a lot more and I will continue and will strive for more and more decisions for combating terror.”
Yeshiva World News reported that Ben Gvir requested the police to compile a list of targets and gather intelligence with the aim of collecting weapons from neighborhood to neighborhood. If that isn’t possible, they will create a list of targets and intelligence.
TOI also reported that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also said the security cabinet had decided on a series of steps to “combat terror and exact a price from terrorists and their supporters”.
Without providing further details, he added that steps will be taken to “strengthen settlements” in response to the attacks.
In November, Ben-Gvir made the introduction of capital punishment against Palestinians found guilty of killing Israelis a condition for his faction to join Netanyahu’s coalition government.
YWN also reported that videos and photos of Arabs in Jenin, Ramallah and Shuafat are circulating in which they can be seen celebrating terror attacks in Israel that have become all too ubiquitous.
A smaller but somehow almost more evil celebration took place in the heart of Jerusalem on Motzei Shabbos, when a group of Arabs expressed their glee over the terror attack in front of the lone Jew in an elevator in Shaare Tzedek Hospital – a Chareidi man.
As Chareidi reporter Ariel Elharar succinctly wrote: “The face of evil.”
On Friday, minutes after word spread of the horrific attack, YWN published the following:
“Hordes of animals celebrated the deaths of more than half a dozen Jews killed by a machine-gun wielding terrorist at a shul in Neve Yaakov near Yerushalayim on Friday night.
Footage coming out of Palestinian strongholds and villages show dozens of twisted, terrorist-loving sickos singing, dancing, and handing out sweets, celebrating the demise of Jews and the martyrdom of the Arab terrorist.
These animals – who want all Jews dead – are the ones that Israel is being blamed for hurting.”
Also on Monday, the AP reported that Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged Israel and the Palestinians to ease tensions following a spike in violence that has put the region on edge. The bloodshed has alarmed the Biden administration as it attempts to find common ground with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new right-wing government.
Yet aside from appeals for de-escalation and restraint, Blinken did not publicly offer any particular ideas for calming the situation and it was not immediately clear from his meeting with Netanyahu that the administration would be proposing any, the AP reported. Blinken will meet Tuesday with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.
“We’re urging all sides now to take urgent steps to restore calm, to de-escalate,” Blinken said after meeting Netanyahu, as was reported by the AP. “We want to make sure that there’s an environment in which we can, I hope at some point, create conditions where we can start to restore a sense of security for Israelis and Palestinians alike, which of course is sorely lacking.”