Ministerial committee approves series of measures against extremist settlers to prevent attacks on Palestinian civilians
Government ministers on Monday approved a series of measures to be implemented against extremist settlers to prevent attacks on Palestinian civilians.
Movement restriction and expulsion orders will be issued for violent settlers and the budgets of settler institutions that foster incitement against Palestinian civilians will be slashed, a committee headed by Defense Minister Amir Peretz ruled.
The committee was set up after a video recording recorded in late January showed a female settler verbally abusing a Palestinian woman in the segregated West Bank city of Hebron.
It was also decided to boost police and Israeli army forces in hotbeds of confrontation between Jewish settlers and Palestinians in the West Bank, with a special emphasis on Herbon where some 600 settlers live among 120,000 Palestinians.
The meeting was attended by committee members Foreign and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Minister of the Interior Ronnie Bar-On, and Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter, who left the meeting to Eilat when news reached him that a suicide bomber had blown himself up in the southern resort city.
“We need to prevent this situation where breaches of the law take place with the authorities’ sponsorship,” Peretz said.
Measures irk right-wing groups
Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh has been appointed to oversee the implementation of the measures, which will be presented to the government for approval within 30 days.
Settler groups condemned the measures, accusing Peretz of pushing for tough actions against settlers to secure political gains ahead of elections for the leadership of the left-leaning Labor Party that he heads.
“The decisions badly carry the smell of primaries in the Labor Party,” the Yesha Council said in a statement.
“The use of expulsion orders is an aggressive and outrageous move. If there is evidence against a citizen he should be tried as expected. It is preferred that the security establishment deals with problems among our enemies, and the bombing in Eilat today is just a reminder of their intentions,” the statement said.
The National Union-NRP party said, “Instead of dealing with terror attacks, rising crime, and government corruption, the government is discriminating against residents of Judea and Samaria who are suffering from harassment by Palestinians.”
Right-wing activist Itamar Ben-Gvir said the measures are illegal. “We have always known that the biggest dictators are the left-wingers. These are orders that lack legality and evidence,” he said.