Israel proposes looser gun laws after attacks
Israel’s security cabinet has approved measures to make it easier for Israelis to carry guns after two separate attacks by Palestinians in Jerusalem over the past two days.
The new measures also include depriving an attacker’s family members of residency and social security rights.
The full cabinet is due to consider the measures.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had promised a “strong” and “swift” response ahead of the security cabinet meeting.
Israel’s army also said it would be reinforcing troop numbers in the occupied West Bank.
“When civilians have guns, they can defend themselves,” the controversial far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir told reporters outside a Jerusalem hospital.
The measures will revoke the rights to social security of “the families of terrorists that support terrorism”, the security cabinet said.
The announcement came after Israeli police said a 13-year-old Palestinian boy was behind a shooting in Jerusalem’s Silwan neighbourhood on Saturday that left an Israeli father and son seriously wounded.
An Israeli police force spokesperson previously said the assailant ambushed five people as they made their way to prayers, leaving two in a “critical condition”. The 13-year-old was shot and injured by passers-by and is being held in the hospital.
In a separate shooting on Friday at a synagogue in East Jerusalem, seven people were killed and at least three more injured as they gathered for prayers at the start of the Jewish Sabbath. The gunman was shot dead at the scene.
The man behind Friday’s synagogue attack was identified by local media as a Palestinian from East Jerusalem.
Police have arrested 42 people in connection with that attack.
Palestinian militant groups praised the attack but did not say one of their members was responsible.
Tensions have been high since nine Palestinians, both militants and civilians, were killed during an Israeli military raid in Jenin in the occupied West Bank on Thursday.
This was followed by rocket fire into Israel from Gaza, which Israel responded to with air strikes.—BBC