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Middle East Conflict: Israel: Minister calls for “wiping out” of Huwara city

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After a deadly attack on two Israelis, Israel’s finance minister, Bezalel Smotrich, calls for the destruction of the small Palestinian town of Huwara.

Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich has called for “wiping out” the small Palestinian town of Huwara in the West Bank.

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Smotrich, who is also responsible for settlement expansion in the West Bank, said at a conference of the business newspaper TheMarker: “I think the village of Huwara has to be wiped out. I think the State of Israel has to do this – for God’s sake not private individuals.”

A suspected Palestinian assassin shot dead two Israeli brothers in the town south of Nablus on Sunday. After that, Israeli settlers rioted near the scene of the crime, injuring hundreds of Palestinians. Dozens of houses, shops and cars were also set on fire.

According to estimates by the Central Palestinian Bureau of Statistics, around 7,400 Palestinians live in Huwara. A central connecting road runs through the small town, which is also used daily by many Israeli settlers in the northern West Bank.

“The villages must burn”

A deputy from the far-right coalition party Ozma Jehudit expressly welcomed the riots in Huwara. “After a murder like yesterday, the villages must burn if the army does nothing. Huwara closed and burned, that’s what I want to see,” said Zvika Fogel. Israel’s Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara then ordered a police investigation into Fogel for incitement to violence. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had called on the Israelis not to take the law into their own hands.

Since the beginning of the year, 13 Israelis and one Ukrainian have been killed in Palestinian attacks. In the same period, 63 Palestinians lost their lives – they were killed, for example, in confrontations with the Israeli army or in their own attacks.

Israel conquered the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967. More than 600,000 Israeli settlers live there today. The Palestinians claim the territories for their own state.

Source: Stern

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