Zvi Sukkot, a settler known for committing crimes against Palestinians, has become a member of the Israeli Knesset for the Religious Zionism Party after party leader Bezalel Smotrich resigned.
Israeli laws allow Knesset members to resign to allow them to focus on their ministerial responsibilities – handing their seat to the next person on the party’s election slate.
According to Haaretz, Sukkot is a well-known figure among settlers, and he was an activist in the Hilltop youth settlement group known for its attacks against Palestinians, and one of the founders of several illegal settlement outposts, including Evyatar in Nablus.
It is believed that in December 2009, Sukkot, 32, set fire to a mosque in a Palestinian village near Salfit. He was later arrested with others as a suspect, but was released due to lack of evidence. Since then, he has been described as the head of a secret settler organisation that burned a mosque in the West Bank.
For many years, Sukkot was a target of the Shin Bet because of his positions and his involvement in many attacks against Palestinians. He has, however, denied the accusations against him.