Israeli Minister Bezalel Smotrich says Palestinian town targeted by rioters should be ‘annihilated’ | world news

Israel’s finance minister said the West Bank town of Huwara should be “wiped out”.

When asked onstage at a business conference why he liked a tweet earlier in the week that called for the destruction of the Palestinian village, Bezalel Smotrich replied, “Because I think the village of Huwara must be destroyed.

“I think the State of Israel should do it, and not, God forbid, private individuals.”

Mr Smotrich, a controversial far-right politician, is one of the most important members of Benjamin Netanyahu’s government – in addition to the finance minister, he is also a minister in the Ministry of Defense and in charge of civil affairs in the West Bank .

His remarks were criticized by former Prime Minister Yair Lapid as “incitement to war crimes”.

In response, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said, “I want to be very clear on this. – these comments were irresponsible. They were repulsive. They were disgusting. also amounts to incitement to violence.”

Huwara was the scene of violent riots on Sunday night as hundreds of Israeli settlers carried out revenge attacks after two Jewish men were murdered there earlier in the day.

Cars and houses were set on fire and a Palestinian was killed during the rampage.

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The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) commander in charge of the area, Major General Yehuda Fuchs, has since admitted that his forces were taken by surprise and called the settler violence a “pogrom”.

The riots were widely condemned by the international community, and many moderate Israelis also spoke out against them.

Israeli security forces at the site of a shooting in Huwara last month. Photo: AP

Protesters demonstrating against the government in Tel Aviv on Wednesday confronted police and asked where they were as riots unfolded in Huwara on Sunday and an online crowdfunding site raised more than £300,000 for victims .

On Wednesday, Israeli police also arrested six other settlers suspected of involvement in the weekend violence. One of them has since been released.

In addition, the Israeli forces claim to have captured the gunmen suspected of having killed a israeli-american man Monday in the West Bank.

IDF forces raided a refugee camp on the outskirts of Jericho on Wednesday afternoon and arrested three people – two surrendered and a third was shot dead as she tried to escape. He died later.

The operation was carried out while the victim, Elan Ganeles, 26, was buried in the town of Ra’anna in central Israel.


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