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PA condemns racist remarks in defence of illegal Jewish settlers

Naftali Bennett, Israel's prime minister, during the Jerusalem Post Conference in Jerusalem, Israel, on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021 [Kobi Wolf/Bloomberg via Getty Images]
Israel's prime minister Naftali Bennett in Jerusalem on 12 October 2021 [Kobi Wolf/Bloomberg via Getty Images]

The Palestinian Authority (PA) on Friday condemned the racist remarks of Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and other Israeli politicians made in defence of illegal Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank, Wafa News Agency reported.

Deputy Israeli Economy Minister Yair Golan stated on Thursday morning that Jewish settlers residing in an illegal outpost in the northern West Bank were "subhuman".

He expressed: "People who settle in an area that was legally evacuated – nobody should be thereā€¦ These people who come to settle there, riot in the [adjacent Palestinian] village of Burqa, smash gravestones – they are carrying out a pogrom. We, the Jewish people, who suffered pogroms throughout history, are now carrying out pogroms on others."

Bennett said that Golan's words were: "Shocking, insulting and border on blood libel."

He added: "Those who settle in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) are the pioneers of today. We have not taken a foreign land, we have reclaimed the land of our forefathers."

Israeli Justice Minister Gideon Sa'ar condemned Golan's remarks as: "A grave, false and generalising outburst against the settlers."

Meanwhile, Transportation Minister Merav Michaeli, head of the dovish Labor party, urged Golan to apologise.

READ: Israeli tanks fire warning shots across Syrian border in Golan Heights

"Words have power. We are the first to know this, so the use of the words 'subhuman' is irresponsible and requires an apology," Michaeli tweeted.

In a statement, the PA's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates asserted: "These stances and remarks reiterate that the Israeli government is frankly bragging about its occupation of the land of Palestine."

The statement added: "This reflects an official Israeli persistence to support settlements and settlers in order to expand across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. This also gives official cover-up to settler militias and their extremist organisations."

The PA stressed that what is being done in Israel is the distribution of roles between the Israeli settlers and Israeli officials regarding the theft of Palestinian land.

Concluding the statement, the PA's ministry questioned: "When will the international community deal seriously with Israel as an occupation state and an apartheid state?"

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