In response to the recent attacks in Jerusalem, Israeli citizens should be able to obtain firearms licenses more easily and quickly, according to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office on Sunday night after the emergency meeting. Details on how exactly the facilitation for weapon acquisition should look like have not yet been given.
Benefits will be cut for supporters of terrorism
At the Security Cabinet meeting, it was also decided to take action against family members of assassins who support terror. According to the information, this includes depriving them of their social benefits and access to health services. Whether and how exactly it should be checked whether someone is a terror supporter is not yet known.
In addition, it was decided that the army and police should collect illegal weapons in a targeted manner. Further steps to “strengthen Jewish settlements”, for example, are to be published at a later date.
The Security Cabinet had met to deal with the situation after the attack on visitors to a synagogue in East Jerusalem that left seven dead and two injured in the shooting, also in East Jerusalem. According to the Israeli army, there was another attempted attack near Jericho in the West Bank on Saturday. A man fired a shot in a restaurant, it said. However, he reportedly had problems with his gun, which prevented further shooting and casualties. Nobody got hurt. The shooter is wanted.
Netanyahu warns Israelis against vigilantism
Prime Minister Netanyahu announced before the emergency meeting that there would be a “strong” response to the bloody attacks. The reaction will be quick and precise. “We are not aiming for an escalation, but we are prepared for any scenario.” Netanyahu again urged his compatriots not to take the law into their own hands, but to let the army, government and security forces do their job.
The security situation in Israel and the Palestinian territories had recently deteriorated significantly. According to Palestinian sources, nine people were killed in a raid by Israeli forces in a refugee camp in Jenin on Thursday. There had not been so many fatalities in such an operation for years. The terrorist Hamas, which rules in the Gaza Strip, was openly pleased with the attack in front of a synagogue in East Jerusalem.
More than 600,000 Israeli settlers live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The Palestinians claim the areas for a future state of Palestine with the Arabic-influenced eastern part of Jerusalem as the capital. The militant Hamas is classified as a terrorist organization by Germany, the European Union and the USA, as well as by some Arab states.
Tens of thousands protest against the ultra-right government
For the fourth Saturday night in a row, tens of thousands of people demonstrated in Israel against Netanyahu’s government. The protest was primarily directed against their plans to reduce the influence of the courts and thus weaken the judicial system.
Justice Minister Jariv Levin’s controversial plans envisage, among other things, that a majority in parliament, the Knesset, should be sufficient to pass laws – even if the Supreme Court has previously classified them as unconstitutional. The right-wing religious camp, to which Levin also belongs, has repeatedly accused the Supreme Court of overly interfering in political decisions.
In view of the planned reforms, the opposition fears for democracy in the country. Experts warn that the separation of powers will de facto be abolished if the plans are implemented. The right-wing government coalition with Netanyahu’s conservative Likud party also includes ultra-Orthodox and nationalist parties.
The protesters were also concerned about the latest attacks. Demonstrators lit candles to commemorate the victims. They also held a minute’s silence for those killed.
qu/wa/Myk (dpa, afp, rtr)