Netanyahu rejects terrorists’ label for rioting rightists


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected a recommendation to define rioting rightists in the West Bank as terrorists.

Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch and Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman made the recommendation Wednesday following a meeting with Israel security officials, the Israel Defense Forces, Israel Police and the State Prosecutor’s office.

"Prime Minister Netanyahu rejected, at this stage, the recommendation to define the rioters as terrorists," read a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.

Netanyahu did accept recommendations that include issuing administrative detention orders against the rioters; increasing the number of those banned from certain areas; trying the rioters in military courts; giving the Israeli army the authority to detain demonstrators; and increasing the number of investigation teams and resources to conduct investigations.

In the statement, Netanyahu compared the right-wing rioters that vandalized an Israeli army base this week to the Palestinians who riot at the security fence in Bilin.

"It is important to me to emphasize that this is a small group that does not represent the public that lives in Judea and Samaria, who are loyal to the state and its laws and who condemn the rioting," Netanyahu added.


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