Israel DM Benny Gantz accuses lawmakers of ‘acting against Israel’s interests’ 

Benny Gantz (Yasin Öztürk - Anadolu Agency)

Middle East Monitor  /  February 15, 2022

Following recent attacks by settlers against Palestinian, Israel’s Defence Minister Benny Gantz yesterday accused lawmakers of “acting against Israel’s interests.”

The occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah once again became the site of settler attacks on Palestinians this week with far-right Israeli Member of the Knesset Itamar Ben-Gvir visiting the area and setting up a make-shift office there. Israeli police said they had arrested eight people suspected to have been involved in “public riots and violence” in the area.

“I say to the members of the Knesset who are trying to ride with the tide in Sheikh Jarrah, you are acting against the security, diplomatic and social interests of the country,” Gantz told reporters, calling on Ben-Gvir not to “fan the violence.”

“This isn’t a game, these are people’s lives,” he said.

In response, the Israeli opposition leader and the former Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, strongly condemned what he described as “the act of violence against MK Itamar Ben-Gvir.”

“This is not ‘Sheikh Jarrah’ – this is Jerusalem, this is our capital,” he continued. “We are united in our demand from the police to maintain order and security for the residents of the Shimon Hatzadik neighbourhood, just as we demand that peace and security be maintained everywhere in the State of Israel.”