Silvan Shalom has insisted the “lunatics” responsible for the torching of a West Bank that led to the death of an 18-month-old Palestinian baby must be jailed for life – and urged calm to avoid a cycle of violence.
Israel’s vice-prime minister was talking to the Jewish News during a visit to London during which he held talks at the foreign office and opened the London Stock Exchange.
“I think it’s horrible, it’s something that is totally against Jewish tradition and those lunatics should be arrested. They should be indicted and arrested for life and I hope they will find them soon.
“We are not like the other side that carried out terrorist attacks against innocent Israeli civilians including children, and it’s something that we cannot tolerate.”
The attack by suspected extremist settlers in the early hours of Friday morning also left the boy’s mother, father and brother with severe injuries. It drew outrage and disgust from across the Israeli political spectrum.
Asked whether he feared it would leda to a cycle of violence, Shalom said: “I hope not but of course it is not very easy to stop that kind of [cycle]. We have to try to work among both sides to try to bring them down to to bring peace.”
He also condemned the attack on the Jerusalem Gay Pride march by an ultra-Orthodox man, a decade after he targeted the event and three weeks after he was freed from jail.