At a condolence call on Sunday with the families of three Israeli teens abducted on June 12 and killed, Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu noted the difference between Palestinian reactions to the deaths of the trio, and Israeli reactions to the murder of a Jerusalem Arab by suspected Jewish extremists last Wednesday.
“I am visiting today with my family, the families of Gilad (Shaer), Naftali (Frankel) and Eyal (Yifrach), who were murdered by Hamas terrorists. I promised their dear families that we will continue to stand by them, even after the days of mourning,” Netanyahu said at the home of the Frankel family in the town of Nof Ayalon.
Stressing that Israel would track down the captors of the Jewish victims, Netanyahu pointed out that “The murderers came from the territory controlled by the Palestinian Authority; they returned to territory controlled by the Palestinian Authority. Therefore, the Palestinian Authority is obliged to do everything in its power to find them, just as we did, just as our security forces located the suspects in the murder of Mohammed Abu Khudair within a matter of days.”
Netanyahu then sent his condolences to the Abu Khudair family.
“I pledge that the perpetrators of this horrific crime, which must be resolutely condemned in the most forceful language. I pledge that the perpetrators of this horrific crime will face the full weight of the law,” Netanyahu emphasized.
“I know that in our society, the society of Israel, there is no place for such murderers. And that’s the difference between us and our neighbors. They consider murderers to be heroes. They name public squares after them. We don’t. We condemn them and we put them on trial and we’ll put them in prison.”
“And that’s not the only difference,” the PM continued. “While we put these murderers on trial, in the Palestinian Authority, there is continuous incitement for the destruction of the State of Israel. It’s a staple of the official media and the educational system.”
“This is an asymmetrical conflict,” Netanyahu said. “We do not seek their destruction; they teach a very broad segment of their society to seek our destruction. And that must end. There is too much suffering. There is too much pain.”
Netanyahu concluded that Israel did not differentiate between either groups of killers, saying that “we will respond to all of them, wherever they come from, with a firm hand. We will not allow extremists from wherever they come to ignite the region and shed more blood.”
In Jerusalem, President Shimon Peres issued a statement decrying the mutual violence, and addressed the abduction and murder of Abu Khdeir.
“If a Jew kills they will be put to the court like any other criminal, there is no privilege, the law is equal to all and all are equal before the law. On that there is no compromise. We do not distinguish between blood and blood.
“The murder of a child is reprehensible, regardless of the religion or nationality of the child. It is our responsibility to secure life and to punish those who take it away from others,” Peres said.
“We must stop the incitement, it’s time to be respectful and to respect the law,” Peres said.
It’s in our hands. We know where words can lead, to more sorrow, to more danger,” Peres said. “It’s time for all of us to show restraint, to show understanding and let us as human beings, all of us, be true to our morality and to our hope of living together in peace.”