On tour of Jordan Valley in West Bank, prime minister warns Israel will take action against lawbreakers.
Netanyahu: Settler harassment of Arabs would have shocked Begin - At memorial service for former prime minister and Likud leader Menachem Begin, Netanyahu reiterates that the State of Israel will not tolerate such a 'distorted' form of protest against the government.
By Haaretz Service
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday condemned a “price tag” policy initiated by some West Bank settlers, which has led to violent protests as well as attacks on Palestinian property following Israel’s demolition of unauthorized settlement outposts.
“The concept of price tags is unacceptable - one cannot take the law into one’s own hands,” the prime minister said during a tour of the Jordan Valley, days after the evacuation of structures at the Havat Gilad outpost sparked violent clashes between security forces and settlers.
“The laws of the State of Israel are set by the judiciary and other agencies authorized to do so. The price tag approach is fundamentally unacceptable and we will take action against those who break the law.”
Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich echoed Netanyahu's statement and publically condemned the "price tag” policy initiated by some of the West Bank settlers.
"What is a day of rage any way?" Aharonovich said about the violent clashes that erupted last week after the evacuation of structures at the Havat Gilad outpost. "Let them rage on themselves and on their own behavior. We hope they will understand this."
Netanyahu: Settler harassment of Arabs would have shocked Begin
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday the State of Israel would not tolerate the "minority" of extreme rightists have undertaken a policy of harassing Palestinians to protest efforts to curb activity in West Bank settlements.
Netanyahu lashed out at those who have adopted the so-called "price tag" policy, declaring: "Not one person is above the law. This is an extremist minority, a small and marginal number of our brothers in the settlement, harming those enforcing law and order and on innocent people just because they happen to be Arabs," Netanyahu said at a memorial ceremony for former Prime Minister Menachem Begin.
"I am certain Begin would have expressed grief and shock regarding this same small and marginal minority," Netanyahu added. "The State of Israel will not tolerate or accept the harassment of Arabs as a method of protest against the government. It is a completely distorted sense of civil protest, of human value and the Jewish spirit of justice."
Netanyahu's condemnation came a day after a leading cleric, Rabbi Dov Wolpe, said settlers must respond with force if attacked by Israel Defense Forces soldiers. "When IDF soldiers fire rubber bullets at Jewish residents, these residents must return rubber bullets at them," Wolpe was recorded as saying.
Wolpe later said that he had made the pronouncement in anger over clashes that occurred earlier this week during the demolition of a West Bank outpost, and that he had not intended to urge settlers to attack soldiers.
Click to view image: 'Settlers protesting in Jerusalem'
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