Rock-throwing terrorists aren't just a recent Jerusalem phenomenon, according to Gush Etzion Regional Council head Davidi Perl – it's been going on for years in many parts of Judea and Samaria, including in the area where he works.
“The increase of terror in recent months is not just something that is happening in Jerusalem,” Perl said Monday. “We have seen an increase in the number and severity of attacks in Gush Etzion in recent weeks. We have seen incidents where terrorists threw boulders and firebombs, and even attempts to conduct a 'lynch.' The blood of our residents is no less red than that of Jerusalem residents.
In a wave of violence that began Sunday a week ago, the eve of Rosh Hashanah, Arabs began rioting and attack Jewish visitors and police officers to the Temple Mount. The attacks continued throughout the holiday, and expanded to other parts of the city. The rioting led to the death of Alexander Levlovitz (64), who was killed on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, in an attack by Arab terrorists, after a rock slamming through his car's window made him lose control of the vehicle and crash.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called an emergency meeting of the cabinet at the end of the holiday on Tuesday night to discuss plans to stem the unrest. On Sunday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that security forces would respond much more harshly to rock attacks than they have in the past. “Rocks and firebombs are deadly weapons,” the Prime Minister said. “They kill and have killed, and so in recent days we have changed the rules for police officers opening fire in Jerusalem. Over the weekend they already used new means under the new regulations, and hit rock and firebomb terrorists. Today, we will allow a further expansion of the police officers’ abilities to thwart rock and firebomb terror, and we will continue to attack rioters… Whoever attacks us, we will attack you.”
Perl suggested a similar cabinet meeting for violence in Judea and Samaria. “The government and security establishment must come up with ways to protect us, too,” he said. “To wait would just invite tragedy.”