Settlers, Gantz accuse each other of politicizing West Bank terror

In an interview with N12, Defense Minister Gantz accused settlers of politicizing terrorism in the West Bank.

 Benny Gantz speaks during a press conference at the IDF Southern Command, in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba, on August 5, 2022 (photo credit: FLASH90)
Benny Gantz speaks during a press conference at the IDF Southern Command, in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba, on August 5, 2022
(photo credit: FLASH90)

Settler leaders slammed Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Sunday after he accused them of politicizing the rising number of Palestinian West Bank shooting attacks against Israelis.

“We feel that the defense minister is dealing with the issue of security and human rights in Judea and Samaria as a political one,” charged Binyamin Regional Council head Israel Ganz on Sunday right, before the beginning of the Sukkot holiday. “This is very evident on the ground.”

He was one of a number of leaders who slammed Benny Gantz for comments he made on Friday in an interview with N12.

The defense minister was asked if he felt that the settlers were correct to call on the IDF to launch a wide-scale military operation against Palestinian terror than the one in which the army is currently engaged.

Settlers have held a number of meetings and rallies in the last week, calling on the IDF to launch an operation on the scale of the 2002 Operation Defensive Shield.

 Jewish settlers look on during a march near Hebron in the West Bank, June 21, 2021 (credit: REUTERS/MUSSA QAWASMA) Jewish settlers look on during a march near Hebron in the West Bank, June 21, 2021 (credit: REUTERS/MUSSA QAWASMA)

The army is operating properly and what is happening here is politics, Gantz told N12, noting that suddenly there were protests and slogans such as “let the army win.”

Gantz said he understood people’s feelings, but that “security is not politics.” The issue of security “is being dealt with and will be dealt with.”

Terror in Shuafat

His interview was published on Saturday, just hours before a terror shooting in Shuafat in Jerusalem claimed the life of IDF soldier Sgt. Noa Lazar.

"Just two days ago, we demonstrated in front of his house and warned that without strong action against the terrorists there would be dire results."

Israel Ganz

“Just two days ago, we demonstrated in front of his house and warned that without strong action against the terrorists there would be dire results,” said the Binyamin Regional Council head. “Unfortunately, this morning he knows exactly who was talking politics and who was right.”

Shlomo Ne’eman, who heads the Yesha Council and the Gush Etzion Regional Council said that “it’s a shame that Defense Minister Benny Gantz, who is in charge of the lives of half a million citizens in Judea and Samaria, sees the outcry of those residents as politics. This is not politics, this is mathematics,” noting the growing number of terrorism victims under his watch.

This year, on both sides of the Green Line, Palestinian terrorism has claimed 20 lives.