Liberman Unveils New Counter-Terrorism Policy

YERUSHALAYIM -
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (C) seen with IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Eisenkot (L) during a visit to the North Front Command on Tuesday. (Ariel Hermoni/Ministry of Defense)
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (C) seen with IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Eisenkot (L) during a visit to the North Front Command on Tuesday. (Ariel Hermoni/Ministry of Defense)

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman unveiled a new policy to counter terrorism that features punishment for Palestinian areas that produce terrorists, and economic rewards for those that do not.

“We will implement a differential policy in Yehudah and Shomron,” he said. “Its purpose is to continue to give benefits to those who desire co-existence with us, and make life difficult for those who seek to harm Jews.”

“Anyone who is prepared for co-existence will prosper, while those who opt for terror will lose,” Liberman declared at a press conference in his Defense Ministry office on Wednesday.

Besides “carrots and sticks,” the plan stresses dialogue with the Palestinian public, as well as the compilation of a list of those considered close associates of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.

The policy comes with a new, color-coded map of Yehudah and Shomron: Mostly in green, indicating Palestinian cities, towns and neighborhoods that have not produced terrorists, while other parts, the hotbeds of terror such as Chevron and eastern Yerushalayim, are highlighted in red and yellow.

Two lists of 15 locations have already been drawn up. On the “carrots” list were Beit Sahour, which will be rewarded with a hospital; western Shechem, where an industrial zone will be built; Kfar Bidia, which is slated for a soccer field; and expanded infrastructure for Kalkilya, Hableh and Izbat Tabib.

The “stick” areas can expect a reinforced IDF presence, home demolitions, more house-to-house raids for terrorists and weapons caches, confiscation of terror funds and property, revocation of V.I.P. permits for senior Palestinian Authority officials taking part in incitement, and more.

Liberman said he will also seek the establishment of an Arabic news website operated by the Civil Administration, which would provide Arabs in Yehudah and Shomron and Gaza with news programming free of the anti-Israel bias commonly offered on Palestinian Authority news outlets.

The new program was developed in full consultation with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, he said.

Presumably, the point was made in light of a statement he issued a few weeks ago comparing the Iranian nuclear deal to the Munich Agreement with Adolf Hitler. Netanyahu claimed at the time that the statement was issued without his knowledge, and Liberman was forced to put out a clarification.