Netanyahu given Israelis ‘green light to shoot at Palestinians’ | Israel-Palestine conflict News

The increased violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem is feared after the plan of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. it’s easier for Israelis to buy guns.

On Saturday, Mr Netanyahu said he would expedite the issuance of gun licenses to Israeli citizens and step up efforts to collect “illegal weapons”.

His office also promised new steps to “strengthen” illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

The announcements came after a meeting of Mr Netanyahu’s security cabinet – filled with hardline politicians – about the two shootings including one attack in occupied East Jerusalem.

Seven people were killed in a shooting outside a synagogue in East Jerusalem on Friday.

The shootings come at the end of a month of growing confrontation and following an Israeli raid on the occupied West Bank city of Jenin that left nine Palestinians dead and open fire between Israel and Gaza. In total, Israeli forces have killed 32 Palestinians this month.

Israel’s new government, inaugurated last month, is the most right-wing in the country’s history and has raised concerns among Palestinians living under illegal Israeli military occupation in the West Bank and in Israel, as well as leftist Israelis.

Part of the new government are national security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and finance minister Bezalel Smotrich, both outspoken about their intentions to expand illegal settlements in the occupied and annexed West Bank. annexed Palestinian lands, and was known for inciting violence against the Palestinians.

Both were settlers living deep inside the occupied West Bank.

“You have a national security minister who has made it very clear that he believes in killing Palestinians, you have a finance minister who has made it very clear that [Palestinians] Haifa-based analyst Diana Buttu told Al Jazeera.

“And you also have a prime minister who makes it clear that people should be armed and that they will do nothing to stop the killing of Palestinians. You can see the formula is that more and more Palestinians will be killed.”

According to the Palestinian Authority’s Health Ministry, more than 200 Palestinians have been killed in 2022. The United Nations says this is the bloodiest year for Palestinians in 16 years.

Among the dead was Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. While reporting, she was shot dead by Israeli forces with a bullet to the head during a military assault on the occupied West Bank city of Jenin in May.

Last month, Al Jazeera . Media Network send an official request to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate and prosecute those responsible.

“None of those cases [of killed Palestinians] – not one – there was an investigation that led to allegations that, not even in Shireen’s case, are probably the most investigated murder we’ve ever seen,” Buttu said, at the same time. adds that in more than 90% of attacks committed by settlers on Palestinians, “The police do nothing, the army does nothing, they just close the case, no charges are brought forward. “.

James Bays, Al Jazeera’s Foreign Affairs Editor, reporting from occupied East Jerusalem, said Mr Netanyahu’s plan to approve more gun licenses for Israeli citizens comes as Israeli police are also working encourage existing license holders to carry firearms.

“While Netanyahu is calling on the Israelis not to take up the law on their own, he is also putting more weapons on the people themselves,” said Bays, who went on to describe the measures. as “collective punishment” and “a clear violation of human rights”. permission”.

Yara Hawari, senior policy fellow at think tank Shabaka, told Al Jazeera that the announcement is “a worrying escalation that will inevitably lead to more attacks and more illegal killings of Palestinians.” .

“With this move, Netanyahu is giving the green light to all Israelis who perpetrate violence against Palestinians with complete impunity,” Hawari said.

Buttu added that Israel was “armed to the teeth” and that “shooting at Palestinians is very common”.

“It is not uncommon to see Israeli settlers commuting not only with pistols but also with assault rifles,” Buttu said. “It is quite common to see people carrying weapons in malls, on buses, on trains, in religious places.

“The issue here is not just a matter of arming people. She said that this government has always given the Israelis the green light to go ahead and shoot the Palestinians,” whether it be at the police or military level.

As part of the sanctions against the Palestinians, Mr. Netanyahu also said that the homes of the suspected attackers would be sealed off before demolition “to make those who support terrorism pay the price.” more expensive”.

His office said social security benefits for the families of the attackers would also be cancelled.

Buttu said the government is “not only trying to arm the people, but also trying to put in place sanctions not only on individuals but also on their families”.

“Now it’s also going a step further, trying to take away their citizenship, trying to take away any of their national rights.”

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