Israeli official: Settler violence perpetrated by small nucleus of hundreds at most

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

Israeli security forces argue with Israeli settlers at the entrance to the West Bank village of Turmus Ayya on the day that Jewish extremists set fire to homes and vehicles in the town, June 21, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Israeli security forces argue with Israeli settlers at the entrance to the West Bank village of Turmus Ayya on the day that Jewish extremists set fire to homes and vehicles in the town, June 21, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

As the US warns against rising settler violence in the West Bank, an Israeli source familiar with the matter asserts to The Times of Israel that a “small nucleus estimated at a few hundred extremists, at most” are responsible for instigating violence, but that the cabinet discussed this and has taken measures to clamp down on the phenomenon.

Netanyahu said last week that while most of the half a million West Bank settlers are law-abiding people who contribute a great deal to the country, “there is a tiny handful of people… who take the law into their own hands… We are not prepared to tolerate this.”

The Israeli source argues that the phenomenon is linked to the uptick in Palestinian terror attacks coming out of the West Bank. “It doesn’t justify settler violence, but it’s not detached.”

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