Middle East Monitor / March 15, 2023
Zvika Fogel of the extreme-right Otzma Yehudit party, headed by National Security Minister, Itamar Ben Gvir, was taken in for questioning yesterday by the Israeli police force’s Lahav 433 major crimes division over suspicions of inciting terrorism.
In a statement, police said they have opened an investigation into Fogel for the comments, and that he was summoned for questioning, Tuesday, by the serious crimes unit.
It comes after he announced support for the burning of Palestinian villages in response to the killing of Jewish settlers.
Despite Israel killing dozens of Palestinians since the start of this year, Fogel — the Chairman of the Knesset’s National Security Committee — condemned the Israeli government’s response to Palestinian Resistance.
He had told Galey Israel Radio, “I want to restore security for the residents of the State of Israel. How do we do that? We stop using the word ‘proportionality’. We stop with our objection to collective punishment [just] because it doesn’t fly with all sorts of courts. We take the gloves off.”
He concluded: “A closed, burned Huwara; that’s what I want to see. That’s the only way to achieve deterrence. After a murder like yesterday’s, we need burning villages when the [Israel Defence Forces] don’t act.”
Dozens of Jewish settlers attacked the Palestinian town of Huwara last month and carried out arson attacks on several Palestinian homes and vehicles, burning them to the ground. A Palestinian was killed in the attack.
The violence followed the killing of two Jewish settlers in a shooting attack in the town.
The Israeli authorities did not announce any arrest or measures against the perpetrators of the attack on the Palestinian town.
Violence escalated across the Occupied Territories in recent weeks, amid repeated Israeli military raids into Palestinian towns.
According to Palestinian figures, more than 80 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since the beginning of this year. Fourteen Israelis were also killed in separate attacks during the same period.