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West Bank: ‘Huwara should be wiped out today,’ says senior settler official

An eyewitness to extreme settler violence near the city of Nablus in the occupied West Bank describes the worst attack on his village of Huwara 'since the First Intifada'. The attacks by illegal Israeli settlers and soldiers left one Palestinian dead as well as Palestinian cars, homes and businesses burnt to the ground. They follow a week of violence in Nablus, in which 11 Palestinians were killed in an Israeli army raid and two settlers were shot dead resulting in a manhunt.

February 27, 2023 at 10:40 am

The Deputy Head of the West Bank Settlement Council, Davidi Ben Zion, called on Sunday night for extremist Jewish settlers to “wipe out” the village of Huwara. As illegal settlers attacked the neighbourhoods of the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, Ben Zion tweeted: “Enough with talk about building and strengthening the settlement, the deterrence needs to happen immediately and there is no room for mercy.”

READ: Eyewitness: Settlers carried out new Nakba in Huwara

Although he deleted the tweet, which was reported by most of the Israeli and Palestinian media, a screenshot shows that Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich had “liked” it. The Times of Israel reported that while Smotrich “liked” the tweet before it was deleted, he also urged the settlers not to take the law into their hands.

A leading figure in the settlement movement spoke to Israel’s Kan public broadcaster on Monday morning saying that it was “shame” that the Israeli army removed settlers from Huwara. “Why should we stop? We are protecting the lives of Jews… It is a shame that the army even arrived here,” Daniella Weiss told Kan. She added that the settlers “have a lot of guns” so there is no need for a military presence. “Anyone who thinks that we have to use the army to deal with these attackers [the Palestinians living in Huwara]… is mistaken.”

READ: West Bank killings continue with settler attacks