Uzi Landau: We Must Not Blink
Two Israeli civilians and a soldier were injured during continued Palestinian rioting on Tuesday in Yehudah and Shomron, none seriously, according to media reports.
Most of the stone-throwing took place in and around Chevron, and security forces, responded with crowd dispersal measures. But the scale of confrontations was down from Monday, when the funeral of a Palestinian prisoner sparked widespread violence.
One resident suffered a mild head injury during protests in the village Bnei Naim and was taken to the hospital.
Stones were thrown at Israeli vehicles in Halhul and Al-Fawar, where an IDF soldier sustained light injuries to his arm. He was taken to Soroka University Medical Center in Be’er Sheva.
South of Shechem, at the Hawara checkpoint, molotov cocktails were thrown at an Israeli vehicle. In north Shomron, stones were thrown at cars on the road connecting the Hermesh and Mavo Dotan.
The community’s security coordinator sustained face injuries from rocks and was treated by medics.
The Palestinians were again claiming victimization.
“We are facing an unprecedented Israeli escalation against our youth and children protesting the practices of the Israeli [government]…especially against the prisoners,” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Tuesday, the official PA news agency Wafa reported.
Lead Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat sent an official message to the secretary-general of the United Nations, Ban ki-Moon, from Abbas, demanding an investigation into the death of Palestinian prisoner Arafat Jaradat.
Meanwhile, commenting on the hunger strike of Palestinian prisoners in Israel which initially sparked the violence of the past few days, Water and Energy Minister Uzi Landau told Arutz Sheva that Israel should respect the wishes of terrorists who wish to starve themselves, and not try to persuade them to eat. “We cannot release terrorists because they are on a hunger strike. We cannot make a mockery of ourselves.
“This hunger strike and the riots in their wake is just another provocation by the Palestinian Authority,” he said. “We must not panic.”
Landau charged that the PA was deliberately causing riots, as a “greeting,” and a message, to U.S. President Barack Obama.
“The riots in ‘protest’ over the prisoner who died are just a pretext,” he said. “They would have found another reason to riot had he not died.”
Landau said that Israel must face the situation “without blinking. We must tell our friends in the U.S. and Europe that despite all our efforts, the PA still refuses to meet us for talks, and that pressure on us just encourages them to continue in their refusal.”
Israel must continue to use force when the rioters use force. “If we back down they will never stop their rioting,” he said.