Israel vows harsh response to attack

Updated: 2014-11-19 09:56


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Israel captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war and later annexed the area, while the Palestinians claim it as their capital. Although the annexation is not internationally recognized, the more than 200,000 Arab residents of east Jerusalem have Israeli residency rights that allow them to move freely throughout the country. In contrast, West Bank residents and Gazans need Israeli permission to enter.

"There is no solution in the world of intelligence to the problem of a lone wolf who decides in the morning to launch an attack in the afternoon," said Cabinet Minister Yaakov Peri, a former director of the Shin Bet internal security agency.

He said the "only solution is very strong deterrence," such as swiftly demolishing the homes of attackers.

Netanyahu has vowed to revive the policy of home demolitions, which Israel halted in 2005 after determining it wasn't an effective deterrent. Israeli officials have reversed their opinion, and Netanyahu has ordered stepped-up demolitions.

The Israeli leader flew to Jordan last week for talks with King Abdullah II, who holds custodial rights over the Jerusalem mosque compound.

The two men agreed to take steps to lower tensions at the holy site. But on Monday, rumors spread that a Palestinian bus driver had been killed by Jewish assailants. Although forensics experts ruled the death a suicide, Palestinian youths clashed with Israeli police.

Israeli media reported Tuesday that Yoram Cohen, the current Shin Bet head, told lawmakers in a closed meeting that Abbas was not interested in inciting Palestinians to use violence against Israelis.

Cohen tied his assertion to his belief that widespread Palestinian violence against Israelis would undermine Abbas's political standing, the reports said.

The attack was the deadliest in Jerusalem since a Palestinian assailant killed eight students at a Jewish seminary in March 2008.

Related stories:

Palestinians kill five in Jerusalem synagogue attack

Jordan recalls envoy to Israel over Jerusalem 'violations'


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