JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel condemns the murders of Palestinians, which “distinguishes us from our neighbors.”
Netanyahu made his remarks Sunday morning in response to a firebomb attack two days earlier on a home in a West Bank Palestinian village that killed an 18-month-old baby and left the rest of his family fighting for their lives.
“We deplore and condemn these murderers. We will pursue them to the end,” the prime minister said at the weekly Cabinet meeting. “They name public squares after the murderers of children. This distinction cannot be blurred or covered up.
“It is important to say this even as we utter our condemnations and unite against the criminals among our people.”
The statement also came the morning after rallies in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv against the attack, as well as a stabbing attack Thursday on marchers in Jerusalem’s gay pride parade — allegedly by the same haredi Orthodox man who had stabbed three at the 2005 parade. A 16-year-old girl died Sunday from wounds suffered in the stabbings.
Also Sunday, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said that he has given the go-ahead to security officials to hold Jewish suspects in the firebombing under administrative detention, without charges or trial. Administrative detention can be renewed every six months indefinitely. Thousands of Palestinians are being held in administrative detention in Israeli jails.