by Yoni Kemplinski
Defense Minister Lieberman visits Neve Tzuf, speaks with residents.
Liberman in Neve Tzuf
Three different fires were set in Neve Tzuf simultaneously, as part of last week's arson intifada.
Liberman spoke about the arsons saying, "We're talking about 110 arson incidents. All of the security forces, the police forces, and the firefighters were working to deal with 110 incidents. In 17 of those, we already have proof that we're [dealing with] arson, and we're still investigating the other incidents."
"I first of all want to express my appreciation to the residents of Neve Tzuf. This is one of the oldest towns in Judea and Samaria. It's an amazing town, with exceptional residents who are strong and who will manage to successfully deal with this tragedy," Liberman said.
He also added, "We're not talking in terms of retaliation. We're talking about rebuilding, about putting lives back together. We need to rebuild as many homes as possible, and not just rebuild but to expand the settlements. The best answer to this situation is expanding the settlements."
Liberman also thanked all those who helped put out the fires.
"I also want to express my genuine thanks to all the rescue workers, firefighters, police, and volunteers who took part in dealing with this horrific event. Thank you, to the Regional Council Head, and to the members of the Regional Council, for working so amazingly well together.
"I want to emphasize the IDF's contribution. In this case, the army was the first to arrive, and they took charge. You need to understand that during this wave of arsons, the IDF drafted 3,000 soldiers and put them at the service of internal security. 700 of these were reserve soldiers from the Home Front Command. 23 Air Force teams joined the firefight...I think the Home Front Command, as well as the National Emergency Authority and the IDF, did excellent work. I hope we will no longer have to do this kind of work, and I also hope all the arsonists are caught. I believe we have leads, and that we will arrest all the arsonists and successfully carry out justice," Liberman added.
When asked whether he intended to approve building in Neve Tzuf even though the town is not within any official settlement bloc, Liberman said, "Right now we're not talking about political blocs, we don't have to mix two topics. The answer to every fire is to build, one house and then another. The most important thing, what has to happen first, is to help the affected families rebuild their lives."
Earlier on Sunday, Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) also visited Neve Tzuf, and on Saturday night, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) visited Neve Tzuf as well.
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