PM Netanyahu speaks with Public Security Minister Aharonovitch on action being taken to apprehend those responsible for desecrating the Latrun Monastery
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday, 4 September 2012, spoke with Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch and was updated on the actions being taken by the Israel Police to apprehend those who desecrated the Latrun Monastery.
"Those responsible for this reprehensible act need to be punished severely. Freedom of religion and freedom of worship are among the most basic foundations of the State of Israel," the Prime Minister said.
* * *
Other Israeli reactions:
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman: "These ‘price tag’ acts, carried out by a bunch of lunatics, are intolerable. This is an insult to the State of Israel and the Jewish people."
Defense Minister Ehud Barak: "We must fight this with an iron fist and end these kinds of incidents, which stain Israel. It is our duty to eradicate this phenomenon."
Vice Premier Moshe Yaalon: "This act does not represent Jewish morals and values in any way."
Israel’s Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yona Metzger referred to the attack as a "heinous deed": "I object to any attack on a holy site, and hope the perpetrators are punished. I do not know who was behind the deed, but if it was Jews – I ask for forgiveness."
MK Dalia Itzik, chairwoman of the opposition Kadima faction: "The arson at the Latrun Monastery was an ugly act of evil. This heinous crime goes against the values of Israeli society, as well as Jewish morals. As a democratic Jewish state we cannot look the other way – we must ensure that the perpetrators are caught and punished."
The Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land (which represents the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, the Palestinian Authority Wakf Religious Affairs Ministry and the Heads of the Local Churches of the Holy Land) said in a statement: "The council calls upon people from all faiths – Christians, Jews and Muslims – to respect all holy places and sites for all three religions, and strongly discourages extremists’ behavior that exploits or involves religion in a political/territorial dispute."