Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu held an emergency security meeting at his office in Jerusalem on Tuesday night, after the wave of terror attacks in Jerusalem over the Rosh Hashanah holiday including massive riots on the Temple Mount and a lethal rock attack.
"We will fight through all means necessary against rock throwers, firebomb and pipe bomb throwers, and those who shoot fireworks to harm citizens and police officers," said Netanyahu.
"On the eve of the holiday it was again proven that rock throwing can kill," he added. "These activities will meet a very strong response of punishment and prevention. We will lead a systematic change and set a new standard of deterrence and prevention."
In the meeting, it was decided to raise the harshness of counter-terror steps in a few fields, including the possible changing of orders to open fire giving security personnel a freer hand to take lethal action against terrorists.
Likewise it was decided to set a minimum penalty for crimes such as rock throwing, and to impose high fines on minors conducting the attacks and their parents.
In the meeting Netanyahu emphasized that Israel is obligated to preserve the status quo on the Temple Mount and that Israel will not let the Arab rioters prevent Jews from visiting. A follow-up meeting was set for next week to advance the steps discussed.
Regarding the status quo on the Temple Mount, the US responded to the riots by demanding Israel maintain the discriminatory status quo on the Mount – the holiest site in Judaism – where the Jordanian Waqf enjoys de facto control and bans Jewish prayer.
The murder of Alexander Levlovitz (64) on Sunday in a rock attack in the southeastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Armon Hanatziv led to a protest on Tuesday night, in which over 100 residents expressed their anger at the government's breakdown in security.