Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, said Sunday that his country has the authority to respond to what he called ‘ risks and threats surrounding us’ (the Israelis).Olmert’s remarks came during a weekly cabinet meeting in west Jerusalem, in which cabinet members discussed latest developments, including the last Thursday’s attack on a religious Israeli institute in west Jerusalem.

Israeli radio quoted Olmert as saying ‘ the perpetrator of the religious institute attack targeted the institute deliberately as this place is considered to be a symbol of the Zionist religious movement’.

He went onto saying ‘ we all appreciate the students of this religious institute, and we feel sorry for the loss of eight of them, regardless to their political affiliations’.

Last Thursday, a Palestinian, holding an Israel ID, opened fire at a religious school in west Jerusalem, killing eight Israeli students. This attack came few days after the Israeli army had killed more than 120 Palestinians, majority were civilians, in Gaza

In the wake of the Jerusalem shooting, Israel voiced willingness to go on peace talks with the Palestinian Authority, which in turn condemned killing both Israeli and
Palestinian civilians.

Commenting on the attack, some commentators, including Azmi Bishara, a leading
Israeli-Arab thinker, believed that underway Palestinian-Israeli conflict should come to a halt by political means.