MESOP MIDEAST WATCH: Israeli Lawmaker Calls for ‘Targeted Assassinations’ against Palestinians


Wednesday, 23 November, 2022 – Itamar Ben-Gvir at the scene of Wednesday’s explosion in the West Bank.(EPA)Asharq Al-Awsat

Itamar Ben-Gvir, an extremist Israeli lawmaker and who is set to become the minister in charge of police under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, called for the resumption of “targeted assassinations” against Palestinian factions.

“We must exact a price from terror,” he said at the scene of one of two explosions that went off near bus stops in Jerusalem on Wednesday, killing one person and injuring at least 18.

Police said they suspected the attack to be carried out by Palestinians.Ben-Gvir, who has called for the death penalty for Palestinian attackers, said the attack meant Israel needed to take a tougher stance on Palestinian violence. “We must return to be in control of Israel, to restore deterrence against terror,” he said.

Israel needs to “bring back targeted assassinations,” and to put more restrictions on prisoners convicted of security crimes, he added.

He also called for stopping the Palestinian Authority’s payments which he accused of “harboring terrorism.” He said that Israel “has to form a government as soon as possible; terror doesn’t wait.”

Ben-Gvir is one of Netanyahu’s allies, and ultra-nationalist lawmaker who heads the Jewish Power party.

The extremist politician made a big surprise in the recent Israeli elections, which moved him from the sideline of politics to the role of “kingmaker”, after his “religious Zionist” party came in third place.

It was a radical shift for Ben-Gvir, who was convicted in 2007 of racist incitement against Arabs, and of supporting the “Kach” movement, which is listed as terrorist by Israel and the United States.

Ben-Gvir is known for his extremist positions. He called for the death penalty for Palestinian prisoners, and also stormed the sit-in of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem and threatened them with his gun. He led several raids on Al-Aqsa Mosque.