Kahanist Lawmaker Pulls Gun on Palestinians in the West Bank

Far-right lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir claims that Israeli soldiers at the scene were waiting for reinforcements, but the army denies his allegations and says troops pursued the suspects

הגר שיזף
Hagar Shezaf
Knesset member Itamar Ben-Gvir prior to his questioning by the police last month.
Knesset member Itamar Ben-Gvir prior to his questioning by the police last month in connection with a confrontation at a parking garage.Credit: Moti Milrod
הגר שיזף
Hagar Shezaf

Far-right lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir drew a gun at Palestinians who were hurling stones in the West Bank on Sunday.

He claimed that Israeli soldiers at the scene said they would not act because they were waiting for reinforcements, but the army denied the allegation and said that the soldiers used riot control means and pursued the suspects. The site of the incident on Route 60 south of Bethlehem near the Al-Aroub refugee camp has been a frequent scene of stone-throwing and the army regularly lays in wait there on the lookout for problems.

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Ben-Gvir, who heads the far-right party Otzma Yehudit, which ran in the last election on a joint slate with Religious Zionism, said: “This is anarchy. Soldiers cannot respond by firing at terrorists before they get authorization and motorists on the road are in real life-threatening danger. This time I managed to chase off the terrorists who threw stones and rocks after I pulled my weapon, and that just proves that soldiers need to be authorized to fire at the terrorists to prevent tragic loss of life.

In December, Ben-Gvir drew a gun at Arab security guards at a Tel Aviv parking garage. He claimed that he felt threatened by them. The guards, who were questioned by the police following the incident, denied the allegations and said that Ben-Gvir drew his gun after they asked him to park properly in a space. Ben-Gvir himself was questioned last month in connection with the incident on suspicion of making threats.

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