Nearly a week after a night of widespread violence that left one person dead and hundreds injured, settlers have threatened to “destroy” the town in social media posts.
Israeli settlers have threatened to carry out a repeat of the violent night last weekend that left one Palestinian dead and close to 400 others hurt in the occupied West Bank town of Huwara on Saturday.
settlers have threatened to “destroy” the town, much of which was set on fire on Sunday, by posting threats on social media.
Israel’s military claimed it has been keeping an eye on the threats and is working with the Shin Bet security service, according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
The newspaper reported that the requests for a second attack were circulated on Twitter and in a number of WhatsApp groups, including “News in the Hills,” a well-liked updates group for radical Israeli settlers.
Following an earlier that day shooting that left two Israelis dead in the town of Huwara, hundreds of Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian towns and villages close to Nablus on Sunday, accompanied by soldiers.
Ten suspects for being involved in the attack have been detained by the Israeli police.
However, in the wake of Sunday’s violent rampage, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who is also in charge of Israel’s civil administration in the occupied West Bank, stated on Wednesday that Israel should “wipe out” the Palestinian village of Huwara.
“Huwara, a Palestinian village, ought to be destroyed. It must be done by the state, not private citizens,” he stated.
Ned Price, spokesman for the US State Department, described the remarks as “repugnant, irresponsible, and disgusting” and demanded that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other high-ranking officials “publicly and clearly” retract them.
Benny Gantz, the former defense minister, said on Tuesday that Smotrich wanted “another Nakba.” The term refers to the massacres and forced expulsion of Palestinians by Zionist militias in 1948, when the new Israeli state was formed.
After visiting Huwara, US special representative for Palestinian affairs Hady Amr criticized Israeli settlers’ “wide scale, indiscriminate violence” and called for “full accountability and legal prosecution” of those responsible for the mob violence.
A group of 22 Israeli lawyers also called on the attorney general to look into Smotrich’s remarks and those of other pro-settler government MPs on Tuesday.
After Israel’s Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich called for a Palestinian village to be “wiped out” earlier this week, a growing number of rights and advocacy groups are urging the United States to impose an entry ban on him.
A number of organizations, including US rabbinical organizations and Middle Eastern human rights advocacy groups, have issued separate statements in response to Smotrich’s remarks and demanded that Washington deny him a visa.
On Wednesday, Democracy for the Arab World Now (Dawn) demanded that Smotrich’s visa be revoked and that he faces sanctions. His remarks could constitute an “incitation to genocide,” according to the rights organization.
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