CMEP Bulletin: IDF Says Abbas Not to Blame for Current Violence
During a Monday interview with The Associated Press Shimon Peres, former Israeli President and Prime Minister, told reporters that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s commitment to peace has never “escaped the domain of talking.” Addressing recent comments by Netanyahu that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has incited the recent violence and that Israel will “forever live by the sword,” Peres said, “The alternative to two states is a continued war and nobody can maintain a war forever. If you say we should live on our sword don’t forget that there are other swords as well.”
Former IDF Chief Calls for Peace Talks
Disagreeing with Netanyahu, the head of Israeli Military Intelligence, Maj. General Herzl Halevi said that Abbas has taken measures to keep things quiet and prevent attacks on Israelis. During Sunday’s weekly cabinet meeting Halevi said part of the reason for the recent terror attacks in Jerusalem and the West Bank are feelings of frustration among younger Palestinians.
On Monday former Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) chief Benny Ganz told attendees at an Institute for National Security Studies conference that it is important to return to peace talks with the Palestinians. Ganz said, “It’s not just about taking security measures. I don’t know we will ultimately be able to reach a peace agreement, but I do know that the effort to reach certain arrangements is an important one.”
Early Tuesday morning IDF raided a Palestinian radio station in the West Bank city of Hebron. The IDF issued a statement saying the radio station had been closed for broadcasting incitement to violence. The military destroyed and confiscated equipment “with the aim of rendering the station inoperable.” One day earlier a Palestinian press freedoms watchdog condemned what it claimed were more than 450 violations of media freedom since January.
On Monday the Israeli government approved the first reading of legislation that will lower the legal criteria for what constitutes incitement to violence. Current law requires that individuals may only be charged with incitement to violence if it is proven that their actions directly led to acts of violence. The new legislation stipulates that calling for acts of violence constitutes incitement.