'Blood is on your hands': Israelis blame Ben-Gvir for Jerusalem synagogue shooting

'Blood is on your hands': Israelis blame Ben-Gvir for Jerusalem synagogue shooting
Israel's extremist security minister has been angrily confronted by settlers following an attack on a synagogue which killed seven people.
3 min read
28 January, 2023
Ben-Gvir was scolded when he visited Neve Yaakov following the attack [Getty]

Israeli Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir was lambasted by settlers after visiting the site of a deadly shooting in occupied East Jerusalem Friday evening.

Settlers held Ben-Gvir responsible for the killing of at least seven Israelis at the hands of Palestinian Khairy Alqam, according to Israeli media.

The attack in the Neve Yaakov settlement was claimed by Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and came in response to the killing of 10 Palestinians by Israeli soldiers on Thursday in the occupied West Bank.

Dozens of angry settlers confronted Ben-Gvir while he visited the site of the attack. Some told him, "this massacre took place under your tenure as minister," Yedioth Ahronoth reported.

Videos posted on social media showed a verbal confrontation between the settlers and the minister, a far-right extremist who has called for an increase in settlement.

Ben-Gvir was heavily surrounded by police during the confrontation.

"They [Palestinians] are murdering us, it's on your watch! Death to the terrorists!" some settlers shouted out.

Ben-Gvir "promised" to review security measures before being whisked away.

He also demanded that Israelis be allowed to bear arms, Haaretz reported on its website on Saturday.

"We must allow the largest number of citizens to carry weapons, we must change the policies related to carrying weapons, we must give more people weapons," he was reported to have said.

Ben-Gvir vowed that the Israeli government would respond to the operation.

Another attack on Saturday, allegedly carried out by a 13-year-old Palestinian, wounded two Israelis in East Jerusalem.

Live Story

Hundreds of Palestinians have been killed and wounded since early last year in near-daily raids by Israeli forces in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, both occupied by Israel in 1967.

Since Ben-Gvir became Israel’s security minister after a far-right bloc of parties led by Benjamin Netanyahu won elections in November, there have been worries that violence and oppression against Palestinians would increase.

The leader of the far-right Otzma Yehudit political party has a history of racist and inflammatory remarks against Palestinians and Arabs, praising previous attacks on Palestinians as "heroic."