Smotrich says media distorting his words after he called to ‘wipe out’ village

Cars burned by settlers during riots in Hawara, in the West Bank, near Nablus, February 27, 2023. (Erik Marmor/Flash90)
Cars burned by settlers during riots in Hawara, in the West Bank, near Nablus, February 27, 2023. (Erik Marmor/Flash90)

Religious Zionism leader Bezalel Smotrich accuses the media of distorting his words after he called to “wipe out” a Palestinian village.

The remark by Smotrich — who is the finance minister and also a minister in the Defense Ministry in charge of civilian affairs in the West Bank — came days after a terrorist from Huwara shot dead two Israeli brothers, which was followed by extremist settlers rampaging through the Nablus-area town and setting homes and cars on fire, resulting in one Palestinian shot dead and several badly hurt.

Asked at a conference why he had on Sunday evening “liked” a tweet by Samaria Regional Council deputy mayor Davidi Ben Zion that called “to wipe out the village of Huwara today,” Smotrich replied: “Because I think the village of Huwara needs to be wiped out. I think the State of Israel should do it.”

He added that “God forbid,” the job shouldn’t be done by private citizens.

Smotrich later issues a statement saying that “once again the media takes my quote and tries to create a distorted interpretation of it.”

“If they had played my words in full, you would have heard that I spoke about how Huwara is a hostile village that has become a terrorist outpost from where terrorist acts of throwing stones and shooting against Jews are launched every day. But it is forbidden in any way to take the law into one’s own hands.”

“I said that I support a disproportionate response by the IDF and the security forces to every act of terrorism. For every stone, the closing of the shops at the site; for every firebomb, arrests and deportation of the families of the terrorists; for every nest of terror, closure and exacting a painful price until the terrorists and their supporters realize that… terrorism does not pay.”


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