Israel govt. plans to arm settlers, 'close' homes of Palestinian attackers following synagogue attack

Israel govt. plans to arm settlers, 'close' homes of Palestinian attackers following synagogue attack
Benjamin Netanyahu's government is considering arming settlers after two attacks on Friday and Saturday left a number of Israelis killed and wounded.
2 min read
28 January, 2023
Attacks by Palestinians on Friday and Saturday left at least seven Israelis dead and more wounded [Getty]

The Israeli government will study a plan to grant weapon licenses to Israeli settlers and possibly "close" Palestinian homes following a deadly shooting at a synagogue on Friday in occupied East Jerusalem.

Arming Israelis will allow them to confront Palestinian attackers and kill them, anofficial told Israel’s Channel 12 on Saturday when the government was scheduled to meet.

Israel’s extremist Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir made calls on Friday to permit Israelis to bear arms, following the evening attack which left at least seven Israelis killed and more wounded.

The attack happened after a massacre in the Jenin refugee camp on Thursday by Israeli forces which killed at least nine Palestinians. A tenth Palestinians was killed on the same day in Ramallah.

Israel often demolishes the homes of Palestinians it accuses of "terrorism" as a form of collective punishment.

In reference to a separate incident on Saturday, the official told Channel 12 that one of the Israelis wounded in a shooting in East Jerusalem’s Silwan neighbourhood was an Israeli officer in the Paratroopers Brigade.

The attack was carried out by a 13-year-old Palestinian boy who was shot and wounded but was said to be conscious earlier Saturday.

Reports in Israeli media have warned of vengeful attacks by Israeli settlers, as foreign allies of Israel condemned Friday and Saturday’s shootings, while warning against escalation.

Since forming his new far-right government, which has vowed to expand settlements in the West Bank and grant more powers to ministers, Benjamin Netanyahu has been faced with heavy criticism from both Palestinians and Israeli critics who say his government’s policies will lead to more violence.