(UPI) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Sunday to combat terrorism and price hikes while facing dual protests over the weekend.
Netanyahu said the Israel Defense Forces located and killed two terrorists responsible for deadly attacks in Judea and Samaria last week and a third voluntarily surrendered, as hundreds of protesters stood outside calling for stronger actions against terrorists.
The prime minister added the country took “firm measures” to shore up security and settlement construction and that he gave orders to speed up plans to demolish terrorist’s homes.
Netanyahu also revoked permits to work inside Israel for the extended families of terrorists and said he hadn’t automatically renewed permits in his role as defense minister.
He also addressed separate protests against price hikes increasing the cost of living in Israel, saying he would hold trilateral meetings with Greek and French leaders to quell concerns about rising electricity prices.
“The Minister of Finance is working on a plan with the Electricity Authority and the minister of energy to minimize any increase in prices, and he will submit the proposals within the next few days,” he said.
Netanyahu further looked to offset concerns about the expected 7 percent increase in electricity by noting gasoline prices fell by 8 percent.
“In the last three years, the price of electricity in Israel has fallen by 15 percent and is significantly lower than the price of electricity in the OECD countries,” he said. “The finance minister is working in such a way that even if the price rises, it will be minimal.”
The finance ministry also reached an agreement with major bakeries Sunday to prevent price hikes from affecting most breads and assured that prices of affected breads would be increased under “uniform supervision.”
Bread companies requested to raise prices on five types of bread under government price control by 3.4 percent last week, citing an increase in the inputs indices used to set the rate.
At least 10 people were arrested on suspicion of disrupting public order and assaulting police officers during protests on Friday, as 600 protesters blocked the Azrieli junction and its adjacent roads.
The protests looked to follow the model of France’s “yellow vest” protests, with yellow-clad demonstrators accusing Netanyahu’s government of “robbing” the people through the increasing cost of living.
“We are going to the streets to stop the price hikes, to weaken the monopolies, and reduce the cost of living weighing heavily on all Israeli citizens. That is the heart of the struggle,” the protest organizers said.