The attack on Professor Ze'ev Sternhell is a "nationalist terror attack apparently perpetrated by Jews," Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter said Thursday evening.
"This attack takes us, Israeli and Jewish society, back many years, to the days of Yitzhak Rabin's assassination," Dichter said at a police ceremony held in Netanya, north of Tel Aviv.
"We should view the explosive planted last night as one that aimed to kill," he said. ""The law enforcement establishment and police will not rest until those terrorists will be placed where they deserve to be – in prison." Referring to the perpetrators of the attack, he said "those are despicable people who endorse the killing of those who do not share their views."
Meanwhile, a group of about 20 demonstrators, including Hebrew University lecturers and students, gathered outside Sternhell's home Thursday night. Those at hand protested against what they characterized as "Fascism" and the attempts to "silence" Israel's ideological Left. The protestors held up signs such as "Fascism won't pass" and "We're not scared."
'Growing level of violence'Sternhell's colleague, Dr. Nicole Hochner, said she initiated the protest because she wanted colleagues and students to speak out against the attack on "a person dear to us."
"It's important for the public to wake up and understand the gravity of the act," she said. "This is the message we learned from Yitzhak Rabin's murder."
Sternhell's close friend Professor Menachem Brinker also arrived, from Tel Aviv, in order to take part in the protest.
"I came because we see a growing level of violence and silencing attempting by the settlers against those who speak up against them," he said. "Ze'ev spoke up against them, and they attempted to scare him, and all of us."
Ronen Medzini contributed to the story