Public Security Minister: We're Close to Catching West Bank Shooters

Aharonovitch speaks at Holon event about new alcohol law, argues that 'drinking leads to violence, and this law discourages it.'

Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said on Saturday at the Shabbat Tarbut event in Holon that security forces were close to apprehending the cell that committed a shooting attack near Hebron at the beginning of last week in which four Israelis were killed.

aharonovitch - Alon Ron - July 22, 2010
Alon Ron

Aharonovitch added, "Removing the roadblocks in Judea and Samaria was not a mistake, we cannot change our policy because of one or two incidents."

During his talk, the minister referred to the "dry law" that prohibits the sale of alcohol after 11 p.m. "Drinking leads to violence and this law discourages it. For the next few years, we won't permit any sale of alcohol, like in the U.S.," he noted.

In relation to the heavy criticism levied at the police in the case of Inbal Amram, the public security minister said that it was a very tough call to make. "The court presents the matter in a harsh and truthful manner. It is certainly unacceptable for the police to treat citizens in this way," he said.

Aharonovitch added that he intends to hold a special meeting on the subject. "These types of incidents will not become the norm, the police will kick these people out."

The minister expressed his support for the renewal of direct talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, but added that he was skeptical that they would succeed. "I want to believe that there will be peace, but we must be realistic."

Aharonovitch said, "I am familiar with the Palestinians, for some time now. To say that we can reach an agreement in one year? I've got a problem with that, because it's impossible to solve a 60-year conflict in one year." He added, "[Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu wants to make peace, he's trying to get it started. He is sincere and is at peace with this direction."