Amid Gaza war, Israeli minister Ben-Gvir stokes tensions between Arabs and Jews
On Wednesday, the far-right minister visited the town of Sderot near the Gaza border. Speaking to the press, Ben-Gvir said that he had instructed the authorities to prepare for a 'Guardian of the Walls 2,' scenario, which he believes is "imminent".
"Every resident of Sderot will be able to carry a weapon starting this morning," Ben-Gvir stated.
'Operation Guardian of the Walls' occurred in May 2021 and involved a military confrontation between Israel and Hamas alongside violent clashes between Palestinians and Jews in 1948 territories that make up Israel. Hamas referred to the conflict as "the Sword of Al-Quds". The flare-up lasted from May 10 to May 21 until a cease-fire occurred.
More than 230 people in Gaza, many of them civilians, according to the Gaza Health Ministry, were killed as a result of the Israeli aerial and artillery campaign at the time. Just as in the current war, Israel's bombardment damaged the enclave's infrastructure, including the fresh water and sewer systems, the electrical grid, hospitals, schools and roads.
Israelis are out for revenge — even in “mixed” cities. Last night, a group attacked my friend’s brother in Haifa when they found out he was Palestinian. He was stripped naked and beaten. Then the police came and beat him further. He is now in the hospital.— Dalia Hatuqa🤌 (@DaliaHatuqa) October 12, 2023
Tibi posted on X that 1948 Palestinian leaders are making tremendous efforts on the ground together with the heads of the authorities to prevent friction and violence in mixed cities. Referring to him as a "criminal minister", Tibi said that Ben-Gvir is now in the shadows as the war between Israel and Gaza rages.
The Arab lawmaker accused Ben-Gvir of inciting violence and pushing police officers to shoot Palestinian civilians.
On Thursday, the fighting between Israel and Gaza entered its sixth day.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad launched a surprise attack on the Israeli army and settlements surrounding the Gaza Strip on 7 October.
Israel's increasingly destructive airstrikes in Gaza have flattened entire city blocks and left unknown numbers of bodies beneath debris. An Israeli ground offensive in Gaza is considered imminent now that a war cabinet has been formed.
The war has already claimed at least 2,400 lives on both sides and wounded thousands.