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Israel ministers call for greater settlement construction after settler killed

Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett [file photo]
Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett [File photo]

Several Israeli ministers have called for more settlement construction in response to the shooting of an Israeli settler last night, according to Haaretz.

Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett was one of the first to condemn the drive-by that took place in the illegal settlement outpost of Havat Gilad. The head of the right-wing Jewish Home party called for settlement construction to continue as a form of retribution for the attack.

“We must make clear that every murder will be met with immediate [settlement] construction. Regulating [the status of] Havat Gilad and building there is the most painful price Israel can exact to deter terrorists from undertaking the next attack.”

The Israeli army’s Chief of Staff General Gadi Eisenkot visited the outpost earlier this morning and pledged that more troops would be deployed to the area to ensure the settlement’s protection.

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman further stated that he had instructed the Defence Ministry to provide assistance to the settlers in Havat Gilad and to examine the possibility of turning the illegal outpost into a permanent settlement.

Read: Israel army admits live fire used on Palestinian civilians throwing stones

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman also took to Twitter to respond to the attack, claiming that the Palestinian Authority’s policy of providing financial support to families whose relatives are imprisoned amounted to rewarding attackers.

Following the shooting, Israeli occupation forces carried out raids in several Palestinian villages in the Nablus region and imposed blanket movement restrictions on residents, preventing them from entering of exiting local areas. Several revenge attacks by settlers against Palestinians also took place, as Palestinian property and cars were pelted with rocks.

Towns elsewhere in the occupied West Bank were also stormed overnight and some 11 Palestinians were detained without charge.

The incident comes as Israeli authorities move to approve hundreds of new settler homes across the occupied West Bank today, which could amount to 1,285 for this year so far. The UN has repeatedly condemned the building of Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law, deeming them an obstacle to the peace process. Such calls have been ignored by Israel.

Read: Israel settlers raid Nablus-area school

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