‘Why aren’t they targeting Oct. 7 perpetrators?’ Ben Gvir, Smotrich blast UK’s settler sanctions

Sam Sokol is the Times of Israel's political correspondent. He was previously a reporter for the Jerusalem Post, Jewish Telegraphic Agency and Haaretz. He is the author of "Putin’s Hybrid War and the Jews"

File - Far-right leaders Itamar Ben Gvir (2-R) and Bezalel Smotrich at the Knesset on December 29, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
File - Far-right leaders Itamar Ben Gvir (2-R) and Bezalel Smotrich at the Knesset on December 29, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Far-right National Security and Finance Ministers Itamar Ben Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich slam the UK for imposing sanctions on four Israeli settlers suspected of perpetrating violent crimes against Palestinians.

“The decree in question reveals a serious moral confusion,” Ben Gvir says in a statement.

“We have not heard of a decree issued by the British against thousands of Gaza residents who took part in the massacre, rape and looting of Jews, when on the other hand the British are trying to delegitimize the settlement enterprise and the heroic settlers, who have been sacrificing their lives since the beginning of the war in the fight against an enemy who rose up to massacre men, women and children – solely due to being Jewish,” he says.

Such a policy constitutes “collaboration” with the BDS movement against Israel “in which the terrorists are embraced and the victims are blamed,” Ben Gvir asserts, pledging that “we will not shy away from supporting these dedicated settlers, whose only sin is their refusal to submit to terrorism.”

Smotrich, meanwhile, tells reporters at a faction meeting of his Religious Zionism party in the Knesset that the British sanctions are part of an alleged “combined American, European and Arab move” to end the war and establish a Palestinian state.

Both Ben Gvir and Smotrich support the “voluntary” emigration of Gazans and the renewal of Israeli settlement in the Strip.

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