Middle East Monitor / June 21, 2019
Newly-appointed Israeli transportation minister Bezalel Smotrich has declared that one of his main objectives is to ‘Judaise the Galilee’, in light of the region’s number of Palestinian citizens.
In an interview with Israel Hayom, the notorious right-wing nationalist also vowed to boost settlement infrastructure in the occupied West Bank.
Smotrich, part of the Union of Right-Wing Parties, was given the transportation ministry by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as part of a transitional government between elections.
“If I will be transportation minister in the coming years, I will lay down a network of roads, to complete a revolution, so that hundreds of thousands of Jews will come to live in the Galilee”, he said.
“I intend to Judaise the Galilee”, Smotrich added, bemoaning the number of non-Jews – i.e. Palestinian citizens – who live there.
Smotrich also pledged to further Israel’s colonisation of the occupied Palestinian territory.
“With the help of God”, he told Israel Hayom, “if I continue as Transportation Minister, I will make sure that in the next five-year plan there will be a meaningful master plan that looks further on Judea and Samaria [the West Bank], where there are another half a million people, and which includes trains, roads and interchanges”.
“Anyone who thinks that settlement in Judea and Samaria is a threat to peace should be afraid,” he added.