– US condemns “shocking statements” by Israel’s police minister
In an interview, the far-right politician placed more importance on his family’s freedom of movement than that of Arabs. Not just the political reaction, but supermodel Bella Hadid too.
Israel’s far-right Police Minister Itamar Ben-Ghir has sparked outrage with a statement about Palestinians’ freedom of movement in the occupied West Bank.
“We strongly condemn Minister Ben-Gvir’s provocative statements,” a US State Department spokesperson told several Israeli media outlets on Friday. Ben-Khir previously said in a television interview: “My right to move in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), my wife and my children’s right is more important than the freedom of movement of Arabs.” He then addressed Arab-Israeli journalist Mohammed Makadli in the room, saying: “I’m sorry Mohammed, but it’s true, my right to life takes precedence over your right to freedom of movement.”
Ben-Givir lives with his family in an Israeli settlement near the Palestinian city of Hebron. His statements came after several deadly attacks on Israelis in the West Bank, calling for stricter restrictions on Palestinians. Members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing government called for even tougher road restrictions.
“We condemn all racist rhetoric,” the Times of Israel quoted the US State Department as saying. Israelis and Palestinians deserve “the same degree of freedom and security.” Ben-Qir’s statement also drew criticism from human rights activists. Dozens of people protested in front of Ben-Gvir’s house in the Kiryat Arba settlement on Friday.
Jivir responds to Hadid’s comment
Supermodel Bella Hadid also commented on the case. On Instagram he posted an excerpt from Ben-Gvir’s interview and wrote: “Nowhere, at any time, especially in 2023, one life should not be more valuable than another.” Hadid has a Palestinian father.
Zvir’s reply followed X: “I invite you to Kiryat Arba to see how we live here and how Jews who have done no wrong to anyone are murdered here every day.”
Israel captured the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967. According to the latest statistics, about 700,000 Israeli immigrants live there today. Palestinians demand territories for an independent state of Palestine with the Arab-influenced east of Jerusalem as its capital.