Palestinians Attack Israeli Plans to Give Ben-Gvir a ‘Private Militia’

Israeli Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir (R) with Israeli President Isaac Herzog. (Photo: Kobi Gideon / Israel Government Press Office, via Wikimedia Commons)

The Palestinian foreign ministry criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plans on Wednesday to hand National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir a National Guard force under his command, as part of a backroom deal to keep his ruling coalition together, The Arab reported New.

Palestinians are wary of the move, which will give the far-right minister powers over his “personal, armed militia”, amid an ongoing killing of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank in which at least 90 people have been killed this year.

Ben-Gvir Agrees to Delay Judicial Reform in Exchange for ‘National Guard’

On Wednesday, the foreign ministry warned that the National Guard will be used against Palestinians in the West Bank and Palestinian citizens of Israel.

“Netanyahu’s decisions and his continued efforts to resolve the crises within his ruling coalition are at the expense of the Palestinian people and their rights,” the ministry said, in its first statement since judicial reform was suspended on Monday.

“We fear that, in the hands of Ben-Gvir, these new forces will turn on the Palestinians in their own country.”

The ministry called Ben-Gvir a “fascist and terrorist” who is “full of hatred for the Palestinian people and racism against Arabs”.

Ben-Gvir and his ally Bezalel Smotrich from the Religious Zionism party have a history of making inflammatory and racist comments against the Palestinians, even while in government.

After unprecedented protests and a general strike in Israel, Netanyahu announced on Monday night that he would stop the judicial reform scheme that has brought Israel to a standstill in the past few days.

In return for the National Guard, Ben-Gvir has granted the government until early May to try to advance the controversial reform plans through negotiations and dialogue with opposition figures.

(The New Arab, PC)

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