| 20 April 2024, Saturday |

Israeli minister pushes for targetted killings, flattening of buildings in West Bank

Despite increasing calls for a cessation of the escalating violence in the West Bank, Israel’s far-right national security minister advocated for more stringent measures against Palestinian resistance on Wednesday, including the demolition of their homes.
“We need a military operation, we need to flatten buildings, we need targeted killings,” Itamar Ben-Gvir told parliament on Wednesday.

“That’s how you act against terrorism,” added Ben-Gvir, one of the hard-right parties in Netanyahu’s religious-nationalist coalition.

Other senior ministers in Netanyahu’s government on Wednesday also called for a full-scale military operation across the West Bank.

Some other ministers played down the demand for additional measures. “There’s no need for any new decisions, only adaptation of existing ones,” Energy Minister Israel Katz, a member of the government Security Cabinet, told Army Radio.

The calls for tougher action came after Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian towns, torching cars and buildings in retaliation for an attack by Hamas gunmen a day earlier. Four Israelis were killed on Tuesday by Hamas gunmen who opened fire on a roadside restaurant near the settlement of Eli.

One Palestinian was shot dead during the attack while at least one other was critically injured, Palestinian health officials said.

Residents of a number of other Palestinian towns reported settler attacks after the killings and senior ministers in Netanyahu’s government called for a full-scale military operation across the West Bank.

Yaqoub Oweis, chairman of the village council of Al-Lubban Al-Sharqeya near Ramallah, said Israeli soldiers and police stood by as a large group of settlers burned a petrol station, orchards, a cement factory and dozens of cars.

“The attack was unprecedented and abnormal,” he said. “There was heavy gunfire but we couldn’t distinguish whether it came from settlers or the soldiers because of the darkness.”


  • Arab News