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Israel's Ben-Gvir calls for assassination of 'thousands' of Palestinians

Israel’s hawkish minister Itamar Ben-Gvir (Photo by Reuters)

Far-right Israeli minister Itamar Ben-Gvir has called on his cabinet to launch a wide military offensive in the occupied West Bank, encouraging the regime forces to assassinate "hundreds, or if needed, thousands" of Palestinians. 

Ben-Gvir made the remarks during a visit to the illegal hilltop outpost of Evyatar on Friday, according to Hebrew-language media.  

The hawkish minister further reiterated his full support for Israeli settlers and called for the construction of more settlements in the West Bank.

"Here, there should be a full settlement, not only here, but in all the hills around us,” he said, urging the settlers to "run to the hilltops."

“We should settle the Land of Israel, and at the same time, launch a military operation, blow up buildings” and eliminate not just one or two, but dozens and hundreds and, if needed, thousands of Palestinians, Ben-Gvir said.

"Because, ultimately, it is the only way we will seize this place, strengthen our hold and restore security to the residents," he added.

The latest development comes as Volker Turk, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights warned earlier in the day that the situation in the West Bank is “getting out of control” due to Israel’s use of excessive force as well as recent attacks by Israeli settlers in several areas.

He called on the Israeli authorities to immediately end the violence and abide by international law with regard to the use of lethal force, saying the underlying dynamics leading to the widespread violence by Israel and arbitrary loss of life in the occupied Palestinian territories need to be addressed with urgency.

Over the past months, Israel has ramped up attacks on Palestinian towns and cities. As a result of these attacks, dozens of Palestinians have lost their lives and many others have been arrested.

The Tel Aviv regime has also stepped up its settlement expansion activities since last December when Benjamin Netanyahu returned to power as the prime minister of the regime’s most far-right cabinet.

Much of the international community regards the Israeli settler units in the occupied lands as illegal.

More than 700,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East al-Quds.

All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law. The UN Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories in several resolutions.

Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent state with East al-Quds as its capital.

The last round of Israeli-Palestinian talks collapsed in 2014. Among the major sticking points in those negotiations was Israel’s continued illegal settlement expansion.

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