Meir Turgeman claimed he would “punish” those responsible for the drive-by shooting in which two bystanders were killed, and announced the cancellation of all construction plans in Arab neighbourhoods of the capital as a result.
“We have reached the moment of truth. Let’s put all the cards on the table. The people in East Jerusalem want to kill us and destroy us. Why do we need to give them a new chance every day?”, he told Radio Jerusalem during a heated interview.
“Each time we lived in false hope that these people, if we would help them, would change their animal behavior, but it turns out that nothing helps.
“Why do people need to die in Jerusalem? Where is it written, and who said it? We have to take responsibility here.
“And I am going to give an example. I took all the construction plans related to East Jerusalem off the agenda. I shelved all of the plans. They say carrots and sticks. There are no carrots left, only sticks.
“We keep giving candy and more candy and more candy to people who constantly want to annihilate us. It’s over. I am taking responsibility, and anyone who doesn’t like it can fire me.”
The office of Jerusalem mayor Nir Bakat played down Mr Turgeman’s plans to halt construction, saying they “did not reflect municipal policy”, and promised to “serve the residents interested in obeying the law” rather than punishing them for the crimes of terrorists.
The Israeli–Palestinian conflict intensifies
The Israeli–Palestinian conflict intensifies
Medics evacuate a wounded man from the scene of an attack in Jerusalem. A Palestinian rammed a vehicle into a bus stop then got out and started stabbing people before he was shot dead
Israeli ZAKA emergency response members carry the body of an Israeli at the scene of a shooting attack in Jerusalem. A pair of Palestinian men boarded a bus in Jerusalem and began shooting and stabbing passengers, while another assailant rammed a car into a bus station before stabbing bystanders, in near-simultaneous attacks that escalated a month long wave of violence
Palestinians throw molotov cocktail during clashes with Israeli troops near Ramallah, West Bank. Recent days have seen a series of stabbing attacks in Israel and the West Bank that have wounded several Israelis
Women cry during the funeral of Palestinian teenager Ahmad Sharaka, 13, who was shot dead by Israeli forces during clashes at a checkpoint near Ramallah, at the family house in the Palestinian West Bank refugee camp of Jalazoun, Ramallah
A wounded Palestinian boy and his father hold hands at a hospital after their house was brought down by an Israeli air strike in Gaza
Palestinians look on after a protester is shot by Israelis soldiers during clashes at the Howara checkpoint near the West Bank city of Nablus
A lawyer wearing his official robes kicks a tear gas canister back toward Israeli soldiers during a demonstration by scores of Palestinian lawyers called for by the Palestinian Bar Association in solidarity with protesters at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City, near Ramallah, West Bank
Undercover Israeli soldiers detain a Palestinian in Ramallah
Palestinian youth burn tyres during clashes with Israeli soldiers close to the Jewish settlement of Bet El, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, after Israel barred Palestinians from Jerusalem's Old City as tensions mounted following attacks that killed two Israelis and wounded a child
However, Mr Turgeman also vowed to deal with the families harbouring terrorists with a “heavy hand” by putting them “on a bus to Gaza”.
On Tuesday, the Israeli military said it sealed the crossings in and out of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as a security precaution for the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, Judaism's holiest day, which ends on Wednesday evening.
The current wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence began just over a year ago, and in that time, 36 Israelis and two visiting Americans have been killed in Palestinian attacks. During the same time, about 219 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire. Israel says most of those killed were attackers, though Palestinians have accused Israel of using excessive violence.
Israel has blamed the violence on incitement by Palestinian political and religious leaders, compounded on social media sites. The Palestinians say it is rooted in some 50 years of military occupation and fading hopes for independence.
Hamas, who govern the Gaza Strip, welcomed the latest shooting attack as a "heroic act" and "natural response" to Israeli oppression, according to local reports.
Associated Press contributed to this report.Reuse content