Defense Minister Yoav Gallant rejects a letter signed by 50 ministers and coalition MKs that demanded the release of four Jewish settlers under administrative detention.
In a letter, Gallant says the arrest warrants, which enable the detainees to be held indefinitely and without charge, were issued lawfully at the request of the Shin Bet based on “significant intelligence material testifying to the detainees’ high dangerousness.”
He says two of the detainees took part in the recent settler rampage in the Palestinian West Bank town of Huwara and also planned additional violent and “indiscriminate” acts that “endangered the lives of many residents.” They also have “a rich past of violent acts against security forces,” and previous efforts have failed to deter them, Gallant says.
Gallant says that while he admires the settler movement, “this case deals with individuals who chose to act against the law, don’t represent the settler movement and are actively harming it.”
He calls the Huwara rampage “a watershed moment and a mark of shame for our society.”
“I recommend that those who signed the letter trust the Shin Bet recommendations and the defense minister’s decisions, which are made based solely on security-related and intelligence considerations. We must not give headwind to terror of any kind.”