Netanyahu to Israeli Arabs: You Are Equal Citizens - Don't Get Dragged Into Incitement

Security cabinet holds three-hour meet on recent escalation; Prime Minister says Abbas not partner to fight against terror, adds that the Palestinian president has proven how irresponsible he is.

Barak Ravid
Haaretz
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Israeli riot police officers clash with Israeli Arab in Kfar Kana, northern Israel, Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014.Credit: AP
Barak Ravid
Haaretz

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that Israeli security forces would take a number of steps to "uproot the terror from inside the country," and urged Israeli Arab citizens "not to get dragged into incitement."

"I call on the Arab citizens of Israel – do not let yourself get dragged into incitement. You are citizens with equal rights and equal duties, and the first duty of every citizen is to respect the law," Netanyahu said, in a press conference, following a three-hour security cabinet meeting.

The prime minister said that the cabinet had decided to take a number of steps to curb the incitement, including increasing troops on the ground across the country, demolishing the homes of terrorists and taking harsh action against those who throw firebombs, firecrackers and stones - including fining the parents of minors who do so.

Netanyahu added that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was not a partner to the fight against terror – but rather a force fanning the flames and the lies.

"Unfortunately, Abu Mazen [Abbas] is not a partner to the fight on terror. He has proven how irresponsile he is. Instead of calming the unrest, he is enflaming it and spreading lies," Netanyahu said 

The cabinet met Tuesday after the and and growing unrest, to discuss escalation in the West Bank, tensions in Jerusalem and protests in the .

The cabinet meeting was scheduled in relatively short notice, a day after Netanyahu held an urgent consultation regarding recent events. At Monday's meeting, Netanyahu ordered a number of steps to be taken, including augmenting the number of security forces on the ground and demolishing the homes of perpetrators of terror attacks, particularly in East Jerusalem.

The defense establishment is preparing for the possibility of further escalation, lasting for several days. At the same time, a senior official said there is a possibility that Gaza would initiate "symbolic" rocket fire at Israel, in solidarity with the events in the West Bank.

The IDF has also decided to deploy more troops in the West Bank. The plan is to add two battalions of reinforcements; a third battalion may also be added later. The troops will be put on operational duty instead of engaging in their scheduled training, and their main mission will be to help protect those traveling on roads in the West Bank.

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