Nationalistic settler attacks against Palestinians, IDF unacceptable - Gantz

According to the UN, there were 450 incidents of Israeli nationalistic violence against Palestinians in the West Bank.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Defense Minister Benny Gantz.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

Civilian nationalistic attacks against Palestinians and security forces are “unacceptable,” Defense Minister Benny Gantz told the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Tuesday.

“Alongside the main task of fighting terrorism, we have unfortunately also witnessed Israeli attacks on Palestinians and IDF soldiers that included physical harm, and property damage,” Gantz said.

Among the more high profile of those incidents was the stoning attack by Jewish extremists and settlers on a Palestinian home in the South Hebron Hills in September in which a four-year-old Palestinian boy was injured in the head.

Early on Friday morning, there was a report that Jewish extremists had vandalized a home in the Palestinian village of Qaryout and beat a 61-year old man that lived there, breaking four of his ribs.

“These events are unacceptable, both morally and operationally and we will not tolerate them,” Gantz said.

 Defense Minister Benny Gantz at the Salem IDF base in the Jezreel Valley, September 10, 2021.  (credit: DEFENSE MINISTRY) Defense Minister Benny Gantz at the Salem IDF base in the Jezreel Valley, September 10, 2021. (credit: DEFENSE MINISTRY)

He also spoke after a soldier was lightly injured at the site of the former Homesh settlement on Sunday when security forces forcibly demolished several illegal structures.

“I support the IDF soldiers, police and ISA forces, which are operating in accordance with the law and the guidelines dictated by the political echelon,” Gantz said.

“The vast majority of the residents [of Judea and Samaria] are moral and law-abiding individuals who support and appreciate the activities conducted by our security forces and who oppose acts of violence,” Gantz said.

“We will continue to work to maintain law and order,” he added.

Last week Public Security Minister Omer Bar Lev was under fire from right-wing politicians when he spoke about nationalistic Israeli violence with US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland.

He said she was “interested, among other things, in settler violence and a way to reduce regional tensions and strengthen the Palestinian Authority.”

According to the UN there were 450 incidents of Israeli nationalistic violence against Palestinians in the West Bank, of which 118 resulted in physical harm.