Middle East Monitor / May 8, 2023
Far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir has called on the Israeli government to halt the release of the bodies of Palestinians accused of carrying out attacks against Israelis, reports Anadolu Agency.
The call came shortly after Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said holding the bodies of Palestinians involved in attacks does not influence Palestinian armed groups.
On Friday, the Israeli government handed over the bodies of three Palestinians killed in a shootout with Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank last March.
In a statement, Ben-Gvir termed the government’s decision to return the bodies of Palestinians as “a serious mistake that will cost us dearly.”
“It is still not too late to lead a powerful and offensive security policy,” Ben-Gvir added.
On Sunday, Ben-Gvir boycotted the weekly Cabinet meeting in protest of government policies, in the latest rift between the far-right minister and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
On Thursday, Ben-Gvir announced that his party, which has six lawmakers in the 120-member Knesset, will not vote on the government decisions as a sign of protest against the Cabinet policies.
Ben-Gvir was particularly angry with what he considered a weak response by the Israeli army to rocket fire from Gaza following the death of a Palestinian hunger striker in an Israeli prison last week.