Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett called for the creation of a civilian national guard on Sunday following a growing number of recent terror incidents.
Bennett made the announcement during his weekly cabinet meeting, with plans to present a proposal by the end of May.
“Capturing the murderers is not enough. We are at the start of a new stage in the war on terrorism. Those who incite cannot rest easy. Those who throw matches cannot run away,” he said.
“The supreme mission of the Government of Israel is to restore personal security to the citizens of Israel. We are advancing two very significant things. First – the establishment of a national guard. I have instructed the National Security Council, in coordination with the Public Security Ministry, to present the government with an orderly and budgeted plan to establish a civilian national guard by the end of the month,” he said.
“The urgent need to strengthen the personal security of the citizens of Israel was born a year ago during the events of Operation Guardians of the Walls, mainly in the mixed cities, and it is more urgent than ever in the current wave of terrorism. Time and time again, we see the difference between incidents in which there was a responsible armed civilian in the area and those in which there was not. The need is great, especially in the Haredi cities, in which fewer people carry weapons. We are taking action.”
On Sunday, two men were arrested in a nearly three-day search following the deaths of three people in a terror incident. As’ad Yousef As’ad al-Rifa’i, 19, and Subhi Emad Subhi Abu Shqeir, 20, were arrested as the key suspects in the attack.
Many of the recent incidents have been related to the Temple Mount area in Jerusalem. During the cabinet meeting, Bennett refocused his emphasis on allowing access to the area by all religions, while maintaining control of decisions related to the area.
“All decisions relating to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem will be made by the Israeli government, the sovereign of the city, without any thought to foreign considerations,” he said.