Itamar Ben-Gvir, Baruch Marzel, Bentzi Gopshtain (Image credit: Ari Yashar)
The Jerusalem Herald was on scene Sunday night as dozens of activists of the Otzma Yehudit party protested outside an emergency Cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem. At the meeting, held in the aftermath of an attack last Friday night in which an Arab terrorist murdered 3 Israelis, government ministers were expected to discuss whether to leave or remove the metal detectors placed at the Temple Mount entrances in response to the terror attack there on July 14, in which 2 border police officers were murdered.
Baruch Marzel of Hevron, one of the leaders of Otzma Yehudit who was at the protest along with his colleagues Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir and Lehava Director Bentzi Gopshtain, spoke to The Jerusalem Herald about the reason for the protest calling on the government not to cave in to Arab terror:
"We came to protest here after the funeral of three Jews who were killed in their house during the Shabbos meal," said Marzel. "They were stabbed brutally to death only because they’re Jews. This can happen anywhere in Israel almost every day. There are enough knives, there are enough Muslims that want to do it, and you can get to any place to kill Jews.
"So our solution isn’t to try to build one house or two houses or 100 houses. We have to expel out of here all of our enemies. We have to clean the country from the enemy. We cannot have here people who want to kill us, people that support Hamas, people that support Fatah, people that support [radical Israeli Arab Knesset Member] Ahmad Tibi.
"And that’s why we’re here to tell the government: The Temple Mount is ours, don’t go back from the decision to put law and order on the Temple Mount. The Temple Mount is the most important [site] to the Jewish people, and if the Arabs don’t want to go on the Temple Mount because they are getting checked like they are getting checked at every mosque and at every airport in the world - so let them not go up there, Jews can use it a little," concluded Marzel.
As noted, the emergency Cabinet meeting Sunday night follows an attack last Friday night, in which a 19-year-old Arab terrorist infiltrated the town of Halamish in Samaria and murdered a grandfather - Yosef Solomon (70) - and two of his adult children - Chaya (46) and Elad (36), and seriously wounded his wife Tova (68) at the Shabbat dinner table as they celebrated the birth of a grandchild.
The protesters on Sunday night demanded that the government not abandon the victims and instead take decisive action to restore security. They further called on Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman to resign over his failure to protect Jews in Judea and Samaria.
Earlier on Sunday during the regular weekly Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke about the attack and spoke about "recommendations for action," potentially indicating that the government is weighing backtracking on the basic security steps at the Mount.
"The members of the Government and I share in the terrible grief of the Solomon family. Yosef, Chaya, and Elad were murdered by a beast incited by Jew-hatred," said Netanyahu. "The security forces are operating on the ground as necessary, at all times. The home of the loathsome terrorist will be demolished as soon as possible. We are also taking action against those who incite toward acts of murder and those who praise them.
"Since the start of the events, I have held a series of assessments with security elements including those in the field. We are receiving from them an up-to-date picture of the situation, as well as recommendations for action, and we will decide accordingly. We are conducting this calmly, determinedly and responsibly and thus we will continue to act in order to maintain security."
The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) previously recommended removing the metal detectors, claiming they did not benefit security - despite the fact that the terrorists were able to smuggle weapons freely into the holy site.