Netanyahu Tells Courts: Israel Must Impose Harsh Penalties on Stone-throwers

Netanyahu criticizes legal system's method of dealing with stone-throwers, says 'it is our right and our obligations to impose this norm, as we did with sex offenders.'

Emil Salman

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has joined Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan's criticism of the Israeli court system's methods of dealing with the legal punishments given to stone-throwers.

Netanyahu stressed Sunday that he wants severe minimum sentences to be imposed on those who throw stones or firebombs. "This is a norm that should apply to every citizen of Israel, every resident of Israel and every judge in Israel," said Netanyahu. "With all due respects to the court, it is our right and our obligations to impose this norm, as we did with sex offenders. A minimum sentence will be imposed on stone-throwers." 

Netanyahu also discussed the escalating violence on Temple Mount, and said it was not Israel that was trying to change the status quo at the holy site. According to Netanyahu, it is the Muslim Brotherhood, the Palestinian Authority and the Islamist Movement in Israel that are flaming the tensions there.

"Anyone with complaints about these developments should lodge them not with Israel, but with Ramallah, Gaza and the instigators in the Galilee and unfortunately also Turkey," said Netanyahu.

The prime minister added that senior Hamas official Salah Aruri, who is based in Turkey, incites violence on Temple Mount at an hourly rate, and has even encouraged people to bring explosive devices into the site. "Bringing explosives into the Al-Aqsa Mosque is a change to the status quo," Netanyahu said. "We will not change the status quo and we will not let someone drag the Temple Mount into violence."