Gantz instructs IDF to act ‘uncompromisingly’ against settler violence

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's religions and Diaspora affairs correspondent.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz calls on the Israel Defense Forces to act “systemically, aggressively and uncompromisingly” against violence by Israeli settlers toward Palestinians and Israeli security forces, after a number of cases of attacks by far-right nationalists in the West Bank in recent weeks.

Gantz issues this directive following a meeting with top officials from the IDF and Defense Ministry regarding the recent violence and the military’s preparations for the upcoming olive harvest, a sensitive period in the West Bank that regularly sees attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinians and their olive groves.

“Gantz ordered the IDF to act systemically, aggressively and uncompromisingly — together with the Shin Bet security service and the police — against all forms of violence, against Palestinians, Jews and of course against security forces,” his office says.

Masked settlers near the Palestinian hamlet of al-Mufaqara in the South Hebron Hills, on Tuesday, September 28, 2021. (Courtesy)

The defense minister makes his remarks a day after two IDF soldiers were lightly injured when an Israeli settler attacked them with pepper spray near the Palestinian town of al-Mughayyir in the central West Bank.

“The defense minister condemned the recent incidents in which IDF soldiers and Border Police officers were injured and said that action must be taken immediately and in a targeted way in order to root out this phenomenon,” his office says.

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