ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 143

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Chikli pans Ben Gvir fear-mongering: Arab citizens are showing solidarity

Amichai Chikli, minister of Diaspora affairs and social equality, arrives for the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on May 14, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Amichai Chikli, minister of Diaspora affairs and social equality, arrives for the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on May 14, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

A fellow government minister and a police source slams National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir’s assertion that the police must be prepared for “a scenario of Guardian of the Walls 2” — a repeat of the severe inter-communal riots in mixed Jewish-Arab cities that accompanied the 2021 conflict with Hamas.

Social Equality Minister Amichai Chikli of the Likud party reacted to the far-right minister, saying that “so far, the Arab population has shown much solidarity and responsibility.”

Chikli singles out the Bedouin community.

“And this is especially true for the Bedouin population in the Negev, which has suffered victims and missing people and is displaying responsibility and solidarity with quite a few initiatives for hosting families and helping distressed citizens,” Chikli says.

The Israel Hayom daily quotes an unnamed police source criticizing Ben Gvir — who is in charge of the police — accusing him of again using the words Guardian of the Walls 2 “for his own needs.”

The source says, “The police are preparing and are prepared, and the proof for this is that no irregular incidents have happened so far. Naturally, such a scenario is being taken into account and we will respond forcefully to any case of violence, if one occurs.”

The source is also quoted as saying that Hamas is trying to incite Arab Israelis to instigate violence and that Ben Gvir’s words could inflame tensions.

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