Only solution to Palestinian terror is ‘collective punishment,’ says Gush Etzion mayor

Amid ongoing wave of terrorism, mayor of Gush Etzion calls on government to use collective punishment to deter future attacks.

By World Israel News Staff

Shlomo Neeman, the Mayor of the Gush Etzion Regional Council and Chairman of the Yesha Council, called on the Israeli government Tuesday to use collective punishment to deter Arab terror attacks, lamenting that only such a policy could bring the ongoing save of terror to an end.

Speaking at a hearing of the sub-committee for Judea and Samaria at the Knesset Neeman told lawmakers that Arab terrorists “are no longer deterred and the only action left to take is collective punishment.”

“There are more than half a million residents of Judea and Samaria who are just as entitled to security, as every other citizen of the State of Israel. However, the reality of today is that our women and children are attacked daily. These attacks cannot be dealt with the standard way using counterterror squads,” Neeman continued.

“We rely on the IDF and security forces who operate tirelessly day and night, but we require additional solutions to deal with the raging Arab violence.”

The Gush Etzion mayor also urged lawmakers to make it easier for Israelis to use their firearms in self-defense against terrorists, lamenting the limitations on the use of guns in security situations.

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“We demand that that the open-fire regulations for citizens who carry weapons be adapted to the current reality. At present, citizens who carry weapons are restricted by several de facto regulations which do not allow the prevention of stone-throwing incidents in real time.

“In addition, Arab hostilities demand a much broader response than using tweezers to pluck out the problems. They are no longer deterred and the only action left to take is collective punishment. The whole village should be punished, because there is no other way. The entire village should have their work licenses revoked until they settle down. Dealing with Arab hostilities effectively has still not been established other than collective punishment.”

Neeman’s address at the Knesset came shortly after an Arab terrorist opened fire on passing Israeli vehicles outside of the town of Avnei Hefetz in northwestern Samaria. One man was wounded in the attack.

Shira Livman, CEO of the Yesha Council also addressed the subcommittee hearing Tuesday, emphasizing the failure of current counter-terror efforts to stem the rise in Arab terror across Judea and Samaria.

“You cannot repeat the same thing and expect different results. Incidents of Arab violence are constantly on the rise. Residents of Judea and Samaria have the same rights as any other citizen of Israel and our residents do not deserve to be afraid to travel on the roads. We demand from you, from all the representatives present here today, that you understand the magnitude of responsibility that rests on your shoulders, and that you act with all your power until security is restored to the region.”