Conflict: USA: “Incendiary remarks” by Israel’s police minister

Conflict: USA: “Incendiary remarks” by Israel’s police minister

Israel’s right-wing extremist police minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, caused outrage with his statement on the Palestinians’ freedom of movement – not only at the US State Department.

Israel’s far-right Police Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir has sparked outrage with a statement on the freedom of movement of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. “We condemn in the strongest possible terms Minister Ben-Gvir’s inflammatory statements,” a US State Department spokesman told several Israeli media outlets.

Ben-Gvir had previously said in a television interview: “My right, the right of my wife and my children, to move in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) is more important than the freedom of movement of the Arabs.” He then addressed Arab-Israeli journalist Mohammad Magadli in the room and said, “Sorry Mohammad but that’s the reality, my right to life takes precedence over your right to freedom of movement”.

Ben-Gvir lives with his family in an Israeli settlement near the Palestinian city of Hebron. The background to his statements were calls for tough restrictions on Palestinians after several deadly attacks on Israelis in the West Bank. Members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing religious government called for even stricter road controls.

US State Department condemns statements

“We condemn all racist rhetoric,” the Times of Israel quoted the US State Department as saying. Israelis and Palestinians deserve “the same level of freedom and security”. Criticism of Ben-Gvir’s statement also came from human rights activists.

The Israeli organization Betselem said: “This is the reality we have been observing for five decades. The rights of Jews are more important than the rights of Arabs, this is what apartheid looks like.” Dozens protested in front of Ben-Gvir’s house in Kiryat Arba settlement on Friday.

Israel conquered the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967. According to the latest figures, around 700,000 Israeli settlers live there today. The Palestinians claim the territories for an independent state of Palestine with the Arab-influenced eastern part of Jerusalem as the capital.

Source: Stern

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