Safed Rabbi: Suspected arsonists can be shot; 'it could've prevented this tragedy'

The Rabbi said Chilul Shabbat (desecration of Sabbath) is permitted in order to call the police in case someone sees suspicious acts, or to shoot the suspects if necessary.
Rabbi Shmuel Eliahu Photo credit: PR/Channel 2 News

Rabbi Shmuel Eliahu, the rabbi of Safed, wrote on his Facebook page Friday that Jewish Israelis should shoot suspected Arab arsonists if it is necessary.

The Rabbi posted on his page an answer to a question he had been asked about whether or not it is permitted to violate the Shabbat in order to stop arsonists. "The Prime Minister has described these arson acts as terrorism," the rabbi wrote. "Of course it is permitted to violate the Shabbat to stop them, and if it is necessary – to shoot them."

"It's a miracle that nobody was burned alive so far, but we cannot trust miracles," he added. "If they had shot the arsonists in Beit Meir, Karmi'el or Haifa, this whole tragedy could have been avoided," Rabbi Eliahu concluded his answer.

In response to these statements, Yesh Atid MK Yael German has asked the Attorney General to investigate the rabbi for alleged incitement. "During these difficult times, we must strengthen our solidarity and not our common hatred," she said.  

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