|Rabbi Yisrael Rosenne, director of the Tzomet Technology and Jewish Law Institute in Alon Shvut, says that arming civilians and permitting them to fire back at the terrorists would be a proper way to stop the attacks from terrorizing residents in southern Israel "if the government were in 'Jewish' - and not necessarily religious - hands."
The rabbi's remarks, written in the weekly bulletin Shabbat B'Shabbato, note that the issue is one of Jewish ethics.
"The eternal response to terror is counter-terror, an eye for an eye," Rabbi Rosenne wrote. The Yesha Rabbinical Council this week similarly advocated a return to the Jewish ethic of "rising to kill him who would kill you."
Palestinian Authority terrorists continue to fire deadly Kassam rockets at Sderot and nearby Negev communities, as well as the Ashkelon area, despite a recent IDF incursion into Gaza aimed at stopping them. The PA is taking no action to stop the rocket launches, and rather than pressuring the terrorists to stop, the general public in Gaza has begun taking on the role of human shields to block Israeli counterterrorism efforts.
Rosenne suggested that providing weapons to youth in places like Sderot, Ashkelon, Kibbutz Netiv HaAsarah and Kibbutz Zikkim – all areas targeted in a constant barrage of rocket attacks from northern Gaza – would create an additional deterrent force against those who are committed to driving Jewish residents from their communities. "The Strategic Affairs Minister could claim that the State of Israel has become integrated into the Middle East and cannot control the mili-Zionist youth," he wrote.
The rabbi agreed that his plan might not be effective, "mainly because of the leftist underground in the media... But let it not be said that it is not ethical."