Protesters Rally Near Ben-Gvir’s Home in West Bank Settlement, Two Arrested

Protesters rally Friday near National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir’s home in the occupied West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba. In the second protest this week near a minister’s home in a West Bank settlement, hundreds of left-wing activists, among them Hadash and Communist Party of Israel members, rallied by Israel’s racist Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir’s house – with police confiscating Palestinian flags and arresting two demonstrators

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday evening sought to reframe Ben Gvir’s comments on Palestinian freedom of movement in the occupied territories, amid growing criticism of his fascist ally’s comments that the right of settlers to travel safely in the West Bank takes precedence.

The Hadash leading member and deputy mayor of the city of Tira, Att. Sameh Iraqi, at the demonstration held Friday National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir’s home in the occupied West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba, August 25, 2023 (Photo: Zo Haderekh)

Netanyahu’s comments on Ben Gvir, who heads the racist Otzma Yehudit party, came after the Biden administration and American Jewish groups denounced the latter’s comments, with the US State Department in a rare move calling him out by name. On Wednesday, while explaining his support for tightening restrictions on Palestinians, Ben Gvir told Channel 12, “My right, and my wife’s and my children’s rights, to get around on the roads in Judea and Samaria, is more important than the right to movement for Arabs.”

On Wednesday, Ben Gvir also faced major backlash following the shocking quadruple murders in Abu Snan, an Arab-Druze village in the Western Galilee, and in Monday night, the CEO of the Tayibe municipality, Abdel Rahman Kashua who was murdered by gunfire near the police station in his city. 

Hadash MK Aida Touma-Sliman said that “the government is not addressing the issue. Ben-Gvir wants to control a beaten and frightened Arab population and we demand that there be someone responsible for this issue.” “We are all moving targets,” Touma-Sliman told 103FM Wednesday morning. “At an emergency meeting of the High Follow-Up Committee for Arab citizens of Israel, several mayors said they were being threatened, and it may reach MKs as well. We conduct ourselves with the understanding that our lives and security are at stake.”

Touma-Sliman added angrily: “It is time for the government to consider whether it wants to act against the criminal organizations or not. As far as we’re concerned, it’s not doing its job. It’s looking for ways to punish the Arab public. Must there be a massacre for them to make political decisions instead of deciding to catch the murderers?” Hadash said that the far-right government was responsible for every drop of blood spilled, saying it was deliberately dismantling the Arab community through inaction. Hadash recalled that in the last eight months, over 158 people had been murdered in the Arab community, a significant rise from the 106 slain in all of 2022.