US condemns Israel far right minister’s call for Palestinian town ‘to be erased’



Israel’s right-wing finance minister’s call for a Palestinian town to be “erased” was strongly condemned on Wednesday by US State Department spokesman Ned Price, who called the comments “disgusting” and “irresponsible”.

Bezalel Smotrich, who also heads the far-right Religious Zionism Party, said on Wednesday that the Palestinian city of Huwara “needs to be wiped out.”

The inflammatory remarks were in reference to the town in the occupied West Bank where two Israeli brothers were shot dead on Sunday, sparking riots in the area by Israeli Jewish settlers that left at least one Palestinian dead. was done, others were injured, and houses and cars were burned.

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Smotrich was asked on Wednesday why he had liked a post on Twitter after the brothers were shot, but before the settler uproar, saying the huwara should be deleted.

“I think the village of Huwara needs to be wiped out,” he told a reporter at a conference run by the Israeli business magazine The Marker. “I think the state of Israel needs to do that, not — God forbid — private citizens.”

“I want to be very clear about this,” Price issued a scathing condemnation from the podium at the US State Department on Wednesday. These comments were irresponsible. They were opposites. They were disgusting. ”

“And just as we condemn Palestinian incitement to violence, we condemn these inflammatory comments that amount to incitement to violence,” he said at a State Department briefing.

Price called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “and other senior Israeli officials to publicly and unequivocally repudiate and repudiate these comments.”

“We condemn, as we continue to condemn, terrorism and extremism in all its forms, and we urge that there must be equal measures of accountability for acts of extremism, regardless of the background of the perpetrators or the victims. ,” he said.

Asked by CNN if he would “condemn Smotrich’s comments following Price’s call for senior Israeli officials to publicly and unequivocally repudiate and repudiate these comments,” Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael “Despite the fact that Israel has suffered a recent wave of horrific terrorist attacks against its own citizens, this is absolutely not Israeli policy and it is against our values ​​to respond by wiping out civilian villages,” Herzog said. ”

A source told CNN that Smotrich is expected to visit Washington and New York City in March, but no meetings are planned with Biden administration officials.

The top Israeli general in the West Bank, Yehuda Fuchs, called the Israeli settlers’ actions a “pogrom” on Tuesday night.

Major General Fuchs said on Tuesday night that the Israel Defense Forces were not sufficiently prepared for revenge attacks after the killing of the Yaniv brothers in the town on Sunday.

“We didn’t prepare for massacres on the scale of dozens of people who bring incendiary devices … they go and set fire to random Palestinian houses, vehicles, etc. — just indiscriminate terror,” said Fuchs, a In an unusually offhand remark. Israeli military officers criticizing Israeli settlers.

Screengrab Nablus Clash

Hear Palestinians in the West Bank describe this week’s Israeli attack

“This event in Huwara is a pogrom committed by outlaws,” he said, using a term that literally means organized riots against Jews in imperial Russia.

Palestinians have accused the IDF of attacking Palestinians or standing aside and allowing residents to riot.

But Fuchs said the Israel Defense Forces intervened in Huwara to protect Palestinians from settlers, who clashed not only with Palestinians but also with Israeli troops and police.

“Soldiers from the Golani reconnaissance unit opened fire on Israelis, illegals who almost killed Palestinians,” he said.

The IDF has sent four additional battalions to the area since Sunday in an effort to “de-escalate” the situation and keep Israeli settlers and Palestinians separate, they announced.


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Six additional people were arrested Tuesday night in connection with the Huwara riots, Israel police said Wednesday — four adults and two minors.

“The suspects were arrested on suspicion of involvement in violent disorder, arson, assault and vandalism in Huwara,” a police statement said, adding that they were “charged with vehicles and Suspected of setting fire to buildings, attacking and causing damage to Palestinians.”

“The investigation is ongoing and more arrests are expected,” the statement said.

Israeli police earlier said eight people were arrested earlier in the week on suspicion of involvement in the riots, at least two of whom are now under house arrest.

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