PM Netanyahu points fingers at Turkey, Islamic Movement in Israel, Palestinian Authority and Hamas for causing current incitement on Temple Mount.
By JPOST.COM STAFF
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday addressed tensions in Jerusalem in recent weeks which have included rioting on the Temple Mount and an uptick in stone-throwing and Molotov cocktail attacks in the capital.
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Speaking at the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said that he was “obligated to preserve the status quo at the Temple Mount,” in response to charges from the Palestinians and Arab states that Israel was escalating tensions at the holy site.
“We are not the ones changing the status quo. The ones behind the wild and baseless incitement – such as that Israel is trying to prevent Muslim prayer at the Temple Mount, or other wild accusations – are the ones causing the incitement,” he said.
“This incitement is coming from the ‘Muslim Brotherhood’, the Islamic Movement in Israel, Hamas, and unfortunately, also the active participation of the Palestinian Authority.”
Netanyahu said that criticism should not be pointed at Jerusalem, but rather at Ramallah, Gaza, the sources of incitement in the Galilee, and Turkey, where he said that Hamas official Saleh al-Arouri was not only inciting, but also working to send explosives and pipe bombs to the Temple Mount.
“Explosive material in mosque is explosive material. Explosive material in al-Aksa mosque is a change in the status quo,” he said.
The prime minister also discussed the change in the rules of engagement toward those throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails in Jerusalem, saying that they had already been instituted by police over the weekend.
He said that the cabinet was set to pass further measures to give security forces more tools to deal with rioters in the capital.
In addition, the prime minister said, the government was starting to promote legislation that would punish the parents of minors who throw stones and Molotov cocktails.
He said that the government would also advance legislation to establish minimum sentences for those throwing stones, Molotov cocktails and fireworks.
“We cannot accept the principle that in Jerusalem, our capital, or in other parts of Israel, in the Galillee or the Negev, people will organize grassroots terror and will start throwing bottles at passing cars or stones that kill people. This norm will not be established here – the opposite norm will be established,” he said.
“We will thwart you through action. We will punish you to the full extent of the law after the action,” Netanyahu vowed. “We seek to instill this norm to all of Israel’s citizens, residents and judges,” he said.
“With all due appreciation for the courts, it is our right and our duty due to establish this norm,” he said, adding that such minimum punishments had also been legislated for sex offenders.
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