On Monday, after a terrorist killed two Israeli siblings there, a member of the Knesset praised Jews who rioted in a Palestinian community.
As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pleaded for peace and others praised the vigilante action as a deterrent against Palestinian threats, the government’s response to the unrest highlighted divisions within.
“A terrorist arrived from Huwara yesterday; Huwara is locked and burnt. What I want to see is that. Only in this way, MK Zvika Fogel of the Otzma Yehudit Party remarked in a radio interview, can we achieve deterrence.
He referred to the IDF offensive against the terror infrastructure in Palestinian cities in Judea and Samaria, also known as the West Bank, in 2002 as “Operation Defensive Shield,” saying that what residents of Judea and Samaria did last night in Huwara “created the strongest deterrent that the State of Israel has had since.”
Fogel remarked, “Villages need to burn after murders like those yesterday when the army doesn’t respond.”
According to opposition leader Yair Lapid, Fogel should be jailed for his inflammatory words.
“This is a fully anarchist administration, not a thoroughly right-wing one. For inciting terrorism, MK Fogel ought to do time in prison, Lapid opined on Twitter.
According to other opposition legislators, Fogel should no longer lead the Knesset National Security Committee.
A Palestinian terrorist slew Hillel and Yagel Yaniv as they passed Huwara on the main north-south road.
This started the bloodshed. The brothers, 21 and 19, were from the Har Bracha Jewish community nearby.
The attacker or attackers are still at large, and the IDF is actively conducting a manhunt to find them. Several Israelis set fire to homes and vehicles belonging to Palestinians in Huwara after the incident.
President Isaac Herzog condemned the lawbreakers.
Herzog declared that taking the law into one’s own hands, rioting, and using violence against innocent people is not how we do things.
We must give the IDF, police, and security forces the freedom to capture evil terrorists and promptly reestablish order.
Fogel later apologized for his comments following the uproar.
At the beginning of a meeting of the Knesset committee he chairs, he declared, “I say unequivocally—I do not urge civilians to burn villages.”
Even though his statements were recorded for the radio, he later claimed on Twitter that they had been misinterpreted.
“I stressed that under no circumstances should citizens [act in the same manner as the state] to discourage the terrorists. We can’t get to the point where people start enforcing the law independently.
The IDF and the government’s job is to aggressively and resolutely provide the required defense rather than accept the circumstances.