Israeli national security head praises settlers who murdered Palestinian as ‘heroes’

Itamar Ben-Gvir promises his support to illegal settlers who murder oppressed Palestinians

Itamar Ben-Gvir has praised killers of Palestinians as ‘heroes’

The extremist right-wing nature of the government of Israel has again been laid bare by comments by Israeli national security minister Itama Ben-Gvir.

Israelis involved in illegal settlements on Palestinian land – including one who used to work for a Knesset member from Ben-Gvir’s far-right nationalist Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) party – killed 19-year-old Palestinian Qusai Jamal Maatan in the Palestinian village of Burqa.

And after hugging and greeting supporters of the alleged murderers, Ben-Gvir said that:

A Jew who defends himself and others from murder by Palestinians is not a murder suspect, but a hero who will get full backing from me

However, the killing of Maatan appears to have been anything but self-defence. Armed settlers, protected and assisted by IDF soldiers, have for months been conducting a campaign of violence, destruction and intimidation against Palestinian villagers and it was during such an attack, according to eyewitnesses, that the settlers opened fire at Palestinians who came out to try to prevent the incursion. Maatan and two others were hit and he died in hospital.

Despite the evidence, the attacker’s lawyer claimed that his client was the:

victim of a grave terror attack. Thanks to his resourcefulness, he and his friends are now alive… This was an attempt to murder a group of Jews, a true lynching.

Some 700,000 Israeli settlers have seized land and buildings in the West Bank or built new settlements. Under international law, these are illegal, however the far-right Netanyahu government plans to accelerate the rate of land seizure.

Human rights groups have condemned Israel as an apartheid regime and the International Criminal Court, backed by the European Union, is investigating Israeli war crimes against Palestinians. All these events have been almost entirely ignored by the UK’s so-called ‘mainstream’ media, or else reframed to blame Palestinians, while the UK government is legislating, with the collusion of the Starmer ‘Labour’ regime, to ban civil campaigns to boycott the purchase of goods and services from illegal settlements.

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