Al-Azhar Observatory for Combating Extremism (AOCE) expresses deep concern regarding the recent statements made by the Zionist far-right Security Minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir. His call to equip settlers in the West Bank with a staggering quantity of 10,000 rifles, of which 4,000 have already been disseminated, not only endangers Palestinian lives but also intensifies the already volatile situation within the occupied territories.
It is distressing to note that, thus far in this year alone, approximately 23 Palestinians have lost their lives at the hands of settlers who enjoy the protection of the Zionist army and courts, shielding them from accountability. The escalating efforts to arm settlers demonstrate a flagrant indifference to Palestinian lives, disregarding the global community’s watchful gaze.
Ben-Gvir’s pronouncements come amidst a deliberate escalation of the conflict by Zionist authorities, who are perpetrating acts of genocide against the population in Gaza. The accelerated arming of settlers has become a deliberate policy enacted by Zionist authorities, demonstrating a callous indifference to the well-being of Palestinian citizens residing in the West Bank.
This disregard was starkly evident in the recent attacks in the West Bank, where eight Palestinians tragically lost their lives. These incidents mark a distressing trend, with the total number of casualties reaching approximately 23 since the beginning of this year. The Zionist army and courts provide settlers with both field and judicial protection, fostering an environment of impunity for these criminals.
AOCE remains deeply committed to combating extremism and ensuring the protection of innocent lives. We strongly condemn the actions and policies that perpetuate violence and undermine the prospects for peace.