Thu 30 May 2024 5:07 pm - Jerusalem Time

Israel strengthens the arming of settlers and Smotrich threatens the West Bank

Israeli Channel 7 said that the army would distribute more machine guns to settlers in the West Bank, while an Israeli minister threatened to turn Tulkarm into “ruin.”

The channel affiliated with the settlers quoted an army source as saying that the distribution of weapons would include settlers who were not members of the reserve division "in order to enhance security."

It added that weapons will be distributed according to agreed upon standards, and this will be done through rabbis and regional divisions.

Knesset member from the far-right Religious Zionism party, Zvi Sukkot, said that the decision to distribute more weapons in West Bank settlements “is important and will enhance the feeling of security.”

Sukkot called on settlement residents who want to participate in defending their place of residence to submit requests to carry weapons in order to add "another large response force."

For his part, Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich threatened to turn Tulkarm into "ruin like the Gaza Strip" if what he described as "terrorism" continued in the region.

Channel 7 quoted Smotrich as saying that Israel must fight a defensive war in the West Bank.

At the end of last year, Israeli Minister of National Security Itamar Ben Gvir launched a campaign to arm Israelis, including settlers in the West Bank, under the pretext of providing protection from Palestinian attacks.

It is estimated that there are about 720,000 Israeli settlers in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

According to previous media reports, 250,000 Israelis applied to obtain licenses to carry weapons after the Al-Aqsa Flood operation, according to figures from the National Security Committee, while the demand for training centers on the use of weapons increased, and thousands of Israelis obtained weapons for the first time.


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Israel strengthens the arming of settlers and Smotrich threatens the West Bank