In response to a devastating terrorist incident on Sunday that left two Israelis dead, Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich called for the Palestinian town of Huwara to be “wiped away” on Wednesday. Smotrich then clarified his words.
To dispel any lingering questions, Smotrich tweeted, “I did not intend to suggest that the village of Huwara be erased; instead, to act in a focused manner against the terrorists and supporters of terrorism within it, and to exact a heavy price from them to restore security to the residents of the area.
Huwara “has to be wiped away,” Smotrich had remarked during a panel discussion earlier on Wednesday, adding, “I think the State of Israel should do this and not—God forbid—private persons.”
As a result, the U.S. Ned Price, a spokesperson for the State Department, called the comments “disgusting” and urged the Israeli government to denounce them.
“Let me be crystal clear about this.
These remarks were careless. These were disgusting.
These were repulsive, Price claimed. He continued, “And we condemn these provocative words that also amount to incitement to violence, just as we condemn Palestinian incitement to violence.
Price urged Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to “publicly and unequivocally reject and denounce” these remarks.
Israeli brothers Hallel Menachem and Yagel Yaakov Yaniv perished in a terrorist strike on Sunday near Huwara in Samaria, south of Nablus.
Some hundred Jews rioted in the town that evening, some setting fire to Palestinian property and fighting with local Arabs.
According to the Palestinian Authority Health Ministry, Sameh Aqtash, a 37-year-old man, was killed by “Israeli fire” amid rioting in Za’tara, south of Huwara.
The IDF has refuted Aqtash’s brother’s assertion that Israeli forces fired the fatal gunshot.
President Isaac Herzog stated on Sunday night that “taking the law into one’s own hands, rioting and committing violence against innocents—this is not our way, and I voice my forceful disapproval.” Israeli politicians from all political parties denounced the rioting in Huwara.
We must give the IDF, police, and security forces the authority to capture the heinous terrorist and promptly reestablish order.
The U.S. government stated on Monday that it anticipates Israel will hold individuals responsible for the unrest accountable and make amends to those whose homes and property were damaged or destroyed.
Price stated on Monday, “We expect the Israeli government to ensure full accountability and legal prosecution of those guilty for these attacks in addition to providing compensation for the destruction of homes and property.
A dual American-Israeli male was shot and killed by Palestinian terrorists on Monday near the town of Jericho and the Beit Ha’arava Interchange.