Today, Sunday 6 March, extremist Israeli parliamentarian Itamar Ben-Gvir aimed a firearm at a group of Palestinians and threatened to shoot them. Ben-Gvir alleged they were throwing stones at Israeli-owned cars.
Official Israeli broadcaster KAN reported that “Knesset member Itamar Ben-Gvir drew his weapon and threatened to shoot at Palestinians throwing stones at Israeli vehicles, on Highway 60 near the Arroub refugee camp in the Gush Etzion area.”
The Hebrew-language newspaper Maariv has reported that Ben-Gvir was traveling to his parliamentary office, recently opened Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem (or al-Quds, as it is known in Arabic), when he drew a weapon on Palestinians. The newspaper noted that Ben-Gvir claimed that the Palestinians were throwing stones at passing cars.
Ben-Gvir, deputy head of the Otzma Yehudit party, is reported as saying that “soldiers cannot shoot at terrorists without permission (…) This time I managed to drive off the terrorists throwing stones at cars, after I got out of the car and pointed my weapon at them.”
“This proves that soldiers must be given the power to shoot” at Palestinians, Ben-Gvir added.
Last year, soldiers were told they have permission to use live fire on Palestinians throwing stones and Molotov cocktails, even after they had thrown them, or were withdrawing from the vicinity, that is, even without posing a threat to the soldiers.
This is not the first time that Ben-Gvir has threatened Palestinian citizen with a pistol.
On the first occasion, two Arab security guards asked Ben-Gvir to park his car in a designated area, after which the Knesset deputy drew a pistol on them.
On 13 February, the far right-wing Knesset member erected a tent on private Palestinian land in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of al-Quds and designated it as his office. Numerous Palestinians were injured during their protests against the provocation.
Ben-Gvir was accompanied by dozens of settlers who attacked Arab homes in the neighborhood, sparking confrontations between the Palestinians and the settlers and Israeli security forces.
Ben-Gvir justified his move as a means to protect a settler who had seized a Palestinian house in the neighborhood. This justification was refuted by senior Israeli officials, who accused Ben-Gvir of scoring political points.