Israeli cabinet sets out measures to arm settlers, expel Palestinians

Israeli cabinet sets out measures to arm settlers, expel Palestinians
Looser gun laws, stronger settlement protection and forced expulsion of Palestinian residents are all on the agenda.
2 min read
The family of Khairy Alqam have already been expelled from their home [Getty images]

The Israeli cabinet has approved a raft of punitive measures to “strengthen” Jewish settlements, make it easier for Israelis to carry guns, and speed up the expulsion of Palestinians from east Jerusalem on Sunday, in the wake of this week's violence

The military also moved to intensify protection of illegal settlements and bolster its forces in the occupied West Bank. 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced plans to “strengthen the settlements” this weekend - but gave no further details. 

The cabinet has also approved plans to cancel the national insurance payments to the families of those involved in this weekend’s attacks. 

According to Israeli news site Walla, the Israeli army has sent an additional 1,000 troops into the West bank on Sunday.

Commander Yehuda Fox approved their deployment to guard illegal settlements and their inhabitants. 

Defence minister Yoav Gallant is looking to bolster troop numbers in the occupied territories even further, according to Walla

Inside the green line, Benjamin Netanyahu has responded to calls to loosen gun control and allow more civilians to carry arms in public. 

Arriving at the scene of Friday’s attacks in Neve Yacoub, an illegal settlement in east Jerusalem, national security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said "We must change the firearm policies," complaining that "they don't let me carry a gun."

It appears likely that the measures will have to wait until secretary of state Anthony Blinken has completed his visits to Jerusalem and Ramallah this weekend. 

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Israeli forces close house of Khairy Alqam

The house of Khairy Alqam, who carried out Friday’s attack in Neve Yacoub, has been sealed up by decree of the Israeli army on Sunday - and is set to be destroyed. 

Huge numbers of Israeli troops have been drawn in to seal off the entire neighbourhood. 

The unprecedented step was taken by Israel, according to Netanyahu, “in order to exact an additional price from those who support terrorism”.

Family members have also been held in detention under suspicion of assisting Alqam in planning his attack, according to defence lawyer Khaldoun Najm. 

“Alqam’s mother was arrested at dawn - and will appear before an Israeli magistrate’s court next wednesday,” said Najm in a press statement. 

Khairy Alqam was named after his grandfather who was killed by an Israeli settler, Chaim Fellerman, over 20 years ago, Palestinian media revealed. Fellerman killed four other Palestinians and wounded several more in a series of stabbing attacks in 1998 and 1999.