By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency
Jerusalem, Israel — November 22, 2021 … Following are Israel Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s comments at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting on Sunday:
“This morning there was a serious shooting terror attack in the Old City of Jerusalem. At the moment we have one dead and four wounded.
On behalf of the government ministers, I share in the sorrow of the family and join in the prayers for the recovery of the wounded.
Earlier this morning, the Israel Public Security Minister and the Israel Police Inspector General briefed me privately on the attack. Our security forces on the scene acted very quickly. Two policewomen and one policeman quickly neutralized the terrorist.
Nevertheless, this is the second recent terrorist attack in Jerusalem. I have directed the security forces to prepare accordingly and be alert, also over concern for copycat attacks. We need to be on heightened security alert and prevent future attacks.
It is possible to draw support this morning from the decision of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to define Hamas, even what is termed ‘the political wing’, as a terrorist organization. Until now only the military arm has been defined as such. Now, members of ‘the political wing’ will be exposed to the same exact sanctions.
This reflects a welcome understanding, that I hope will spread throughout Europe, about how terrorist organizations work. There are no rockets and no terrorism without a political wrapper, without fundraising, without an incitement machine.
I would like to personally thank my friend, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, for this important decision, which will lead to more decisions in the future.
During our meeting, I raised the issue with him and I am pleased to see that he has responded. I know that the foreign and defense ministers and all of the agencies worked on this.
In recent days we have witnessed a very serious wave of Covid morbidity striking Europe, and we are also seeing a certain rise in the basic reproduction number here in Israel. The winter is starting and we are on the verge of what appears to be a wave of Covid-19 morbidity among children. Fortunately, we have been closely monitoring the situation even when the trend was positive and so we are ready.
In recent days, many vaccines for children have arrived in Israel in very large quantities ahead of the vaccination campaign that will begin on Tuesday. It should be said – these are special vaccines for children, they have been adapted, and there is only a third of the amount in the dose for adults. These vaccines have already been administered to millions of children around the world, especially in the US.
The Covid vaccines are safe and effective for safeguarding our children’s health.
As I have already said, my son, David, will be one of the first to be vaccinated, and so I expect of all Israeli parents, certainly government ministers, who have children or grandchildren of the relevant age.
In view of the current situation, no further easing is expected within Israel at this stage. It must be said – Israel is open and safe, and we will work to ensure that this continues.
Finally, today we mark the day of appreciation for those who have been wounded in Israel’s wars and in terrorist attacks. Going to battle and defending the State of Israel is an extraordinarily heroic act, but the contribution does not end there. Some people carry the battle scars with them even years later, and some for life.
This day is a good opportunity to stop and say to all those who served and were wounded that we appreciate you and love you very much.
I would especially like to thank Israel Defense Minister Benny Gantz for the corrective measure in support of the IDF wounded.
On behalf of the government of Israel, and on behalf of the entire Israeli public, I would like to say to you, to those who have been wounded in Israel’s wars and in terrorist attacks. Thank you very much.”