*** ----> Netanyahu announces plans to arm Israelis after Jerusalem attack | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Netanyahu announces plans to arm Israelis after Jerusalem attack

Agencies | Jerusalem                                   

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com   

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced plans to make it easier for Israelis to get firearms amid escalating violence in the occupied Palestinian territory, a move seen as “collective punishment” and one that could further increase the violence.

Netanyahu announced the measure late on Saturday after convening a meeting of his security cabinet — filled with hardline politicians — over a pair of shootings that included an attack in occupied East Jerusalem.

Seven people were killed in the shooting outside the East Jerusalem synagogue on Friday.

The weekend shootings took place towards the end of a month of growing confrontation and follow an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin that killed nine Palestinians and exchanges of fire between Israel and Gaza.

In all, Israeli forces have killed 32 Palestinians this month.

Israel had not carried out a raid on the scale of its operation in Jenin in years, but it is part of intensified military incursions by the Israeli army into the occupied West Bank, which killed at least 200 Palestinians in the past year.

On Saturday, Netanyahu promised to expedite gun permits for Israeli citizens and to step up efforts to collect “illegal weapons”. He added that the homes of the suspected assailants would also be sealed immediately ahead of demolition “in order to exact an additional price from those who support terrorism”.

His office later said social security benefits for the families of attackers will also be cancelled.

In addition, it promised new steps to “strengthen” illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank but gave no details.