Israeli military calls settler attacks on Palestinians ‘actions of terror’
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) views the past day’s attacks by Israeli settlers against Palestinians in the West Bank as “acts of terror”, an IDF official said on Monday, as tensions in the region rose after a week of violence.
At least one Palestinian man was killed, a Palestinian fire engine was stoned by a mob of about 50 residents, and other Palestinians were injured by stones or metal bars, Palestinian medical officials said Sunday, Israelis in the West Bank. Blaming the residents.
The violence continued into Monday, when a 27-year-old man, who has not yet been publicly named, was pronounced dead, according to a statement from Hadassah Mount Scopes Hospital.
He was shot on Monday in the West Bank on a highway between Jericho and the Dead Sea, according to Israel’s Magen David Adom (MDA) emergency service.
The West Bank victim was “unconscious outside his car with gunshot wounds to his upper body,” when MDA paramedic Eden Cohen arrived to treat him, Cohen said in a statement released by the service.
The attacks followed the fatal shooting of two Israeli brothers earlier I came on SundayAt least 11 Palestinians were killed in the town of Huwara, south of Nablus in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, days after a major Israeli military raid in Nablus in search of wanted militants.
“Last night there was revenge activity by people living in the area. I wanted to say that we see these actions as acts of terrorism, these violent riots,” the IDF official said, asking not to be named because of the sensitivity of the situation. The official added, “It has been a terrible night.
The reason the IDF sent three additional battalions to the area was to keep Palestinians and Israelis apart, the official said.
“Other forces will de-escalate the situation,” the official said. “This morning we sent another Givati (reconnaissance) battalion – the Givati Special Forces Battalion – to the area, in addition to two Border Patrol companies, to really try to distance and keep the two sides at bay.”
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant vowed to arrest the person or persons who killed the residents and appealed for calm, allowing the military and security forces to act and apprehend the perpetrators.
“It is neither justified nor possible to act individually,” Gallant said on Monday while visiting the site where the incident took place. “We cannot allow a situation where citizens take the law into their own hands. I call on everyone to observe law and order and trust the IDF and security forces everywhere throughout the country.
Israeli police spokesman Dean Elsdune told CNN on Monday that the IDF detained eight people in connection with the attacks in Huwara, some of whom have since been released.
Sameh Hamdallah Mahmoud Aktash, 37, was shot in the stomach and died in the town of Zatara, between Huwara and the Israeli settlement of Kafar Tapuach, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said on Sunday night. In Huwara itself, at least one person was stabbed and another attacked with an iron bar, the Palestinian Red Crescent said.
The first Israeli settlers killed were identified as Hillel Menachem Yaniv, 21, and Yagel Yaakov Yaniv, 19, according to the local residents’ council.
Video from the scene shows their car crossed a median, and collided with a vehicle going in the other direction, suggesting they were shot while driving.
Late Sunday, the IDF announced that the older brother, Hillel, was a serving soldier and expressed condolences in a statement.
After rare talks on Sunday brokered by Jordan, Egypt and the United States, Israeli and Palestinian representatives “reaffirmed their commitment to all previous agreements between them, and to work for a just and lasting peace.”
Israel and the Palestinian Authority reaffirmed their “joint readiness and commitment to work immediately to end unilateral measures for a period of 3-6 months. This includes halting any discussion of new settlement units for 4 months and for 6 months.” “Includes an Israeli commitment to prevent any outpost authorization,” a joint statement read.
However, in response to the announcement of a moratorium on settlement construction, Bezalel Smotrich, leader of the far-right Religious Zionism Party, firmly rejected a pause “even for one day.”
In a post on Twitter, the Israeli finance minister appeared out of alignment with his government, writing: “Settlement building and development will not be stopped, not even for a day (it is under my authority). The IDF will continue to work to counter terrorism in all areas of Judea and Samaria without limitation (we will confirm this in Cabinet). It’s very simple.”
Also on Sunday, Israel’s cabinet approved a proposed law to impose the death penalty on “terrorists.” It is a private member’s bill sponsored by right-wing National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, rather than officially government-sponsored legislation.
A statement by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Ben Gvir said the law would give courts the power to “sentence the death penalty to those who commit the crime of murder on nationalistic grounds against citizens of Israel.”
After a preliminary vote in the Knesset, or parliament, Israel’s political-security cabinet will next discuss the bill’s language before moving to the committee stage. If it passes the committee stage, it will need three Knesset readings to become law.
According to the Israel Democracy Institute, there were earlier attempts to implement the death penalty in 2016 and 2018, but they did not become law.
In response to the move, the Palestinian government on Monday condemned the Israeli cabinet’s approval “in the strongest terms,” according to a statement from the Palestinian Foreign Ministry.
“The death penalty violates the Palestinian people’s fundamental rights to life, non-discrimination and self-determination. It is a cruel, barbaric and inhumane bill rooted in Jewish supremacy and aimed at denying the Palestinian people their right to existence and their humanity,” it said, calling on the international community to “take concrete actions to pressure Israel. Also asked to do Repeal its bill.”