Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni phoned Professor Ze’ev Sternhell’s family members Thursday and denounced the placement of the pipe bomb outside his home.
Earlier, at a Rosh Hashana toast at the Foreign Ministry, Livni said "the incident cannot be ignored or tolerated; Israel is a country of law and order.
"The war on the country's borders is not enough if its values are not upheld. After is it established, the new government, regardless of its (political inclination), must not only condemn such phenomena but also act against them," the newly elected Kadima chairwoman added.
Later Thursday, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert also condemned the attack on Sternhell, characterizing it as a "shocking incident." The PM added that security authorities have already launched an investigation into the attack and were instructed to bring the perpetrators to justice.
The pipe bomb went off outside Sternhell's front door on Shai Agnon St. in Jerusalem as he was locking the outer gate of his home at around 1:00 am Thursday; he sustained minor injuries to his legs and was evacuated to the Shaare Zedek Hospital for treatment. Police were alerted to the scene.
The 73-year-old Sternhell received the Israel Prize this year in recognition of his work in the field of political science at Hebrew University.
Flier found near Sternhell's home (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud) told Sterhell's wife over the phone that “this is a sickening attack by abominable people who are not part of the public debate in Israel.”
“They need to be distanced from society and placed behind lock and key,” he said.
Sternhell's daughter Yael said while visiting him at the hospital that "it was a miracle" that her nieces, who were at the professor's home during the attack, were not injured.
"My father is fine and is recuperating. He doesn't want to be seen like this," she said.
Fliers were found in the streets near Sternhell's home promising a reward of 1.1 million shekels to anyone who kills a member of Peace Now. 'The time has come for a halachic state in Judea and Samaria! The time has come for the Kingdom of Judea!' called the fliers.
Police have assigned Peace Now Secretary-General Yariv Oppenheimer with security detail following the attack on Sternhell.
Attila Somfalvi contributed to the report