Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu convened an emergency meeting in Yerushalayim last night to discuss ways to stem the recent surge of rock-throwing and firebombing attacks in Israel’s capital, including the killing of 64-year-old Jewish man Alexander Levlovich in a rock-throwing attack as he drove home from a Rosh Hashanah eve dinner.
Attending the meeting were Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, Shin Bet Director Yoram Cohen, and acting Israel Police Commissioner Benzi Sau.
“We will fight aggressively against those who are seeking to violate the status quo on the Temple Mount. And we will enact a sharp change in policy regarding the throwers of rocks and firebombs. We will use any means necessary to restore quiet in Jerusalem and the surrounding area,” Netanyahu said at the meeting.
Netanyahu announced he would promote fast-track legislation that would set minimum sentences for perpetrators of rock-throwing and firebomb attacks. He also said the quickest way to deal with the problem was to keep perpetrators of such attacks in administrative detention throughout the course of legal proceedings against them. Further, Israel will examine changes in the rules of engagement for security forces and the levying of substantial fines on minors who take part in rock-throwing and firebomb attacks.