Gantz Mulls Designating Far-right Jewish Groups as Terrorist Orgs

Israel's defense minister says the time has come to consider groups like La Familia and Lehava as terrorist groups after members participated in violent clashes during Jerusalem's Flag March

Noa Shpigel
Noa Shpigel
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Defense Minister Benny Gantz, in April.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz, in April.Credit: Fadi Amun
Noa Shpigel
Noa Shpigel

Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Monday that designating far-right Jerusalem soccer fan club La Familia and Jewish supremacist group Lehava as terrorist organizations should be examined, a day after members were involved in inciting violent clashes with Palestinians during a contentious Flag March in Jerusalem.

Speaking at a Kahol Lavan faction meeting, Gantz praised the state for its response to "radical Muslim rioters and terrorists" at Sunday's Flag March in Jerusalem's Old City.

"However, I also heard nauseating calls of incitement from the Jewish public… As defense minister, I believe the time has come to consider designating organizations like La Familia and Lehava as terrorist organizations." Gantz said that the issue has been brought to the attention of the relevant security organizations.

Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev also discussed the matter during a Labor party meeting. In response to a question from Haaretz, Bar-Lev said that he intends to approach Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara to examine the possibility of outlawing these groups.

Jewish Flag March participants attacking Arabs near the Damascus Gate on Sunday.Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg

Tens of thousands of right-wing Israelis took part in the controversial march. Prior to the parade, Jewish revelers entered the Muslim Quarter, pepper spraying and striking Palestinians, who in turn threw chairs and bottles at the Israelis. One Jewish man was filmed drawing a pistol during the clashes at Damascus Gate. One large group chanted “Death to Arabs,” and “May your village burn down” before entering the Old City.

At the Western Wall, the end point of the Flag March, right-wing activists clashed with police, who lobbed stun grenades at them. There, Arabs rained stones on Jews gathered outside the exit, and La Familia members threw a few stones in response. About 60 people were arrested over the course of Sunday, the vast majority of them Palestinians.

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