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December 15, 2021 1:09 pm
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Palestinian Authority Praises Israel’s Public Security Minister for Condemning Settler Violence

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

Israeli Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev. Photo: Yosius / Wikimedia

The Palestinian Authority issued a rare statement of praise of an Israeli government minister on Wednesday, endorsing statements by Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev condemning violence by Jewish settlers in the West Bank.

Bar-Lev has faced considerable criticism from the political right in recent days after he made a public statement that he held a meeting with US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland, during which Nuland expressed concern over escalating settler violence against Palestinians.

After being criticized by Israel’s right-wing opposition, Bar-Lev said on Twitter, sarcastically, that “I understand it is very difficult” for many on the right to realize that foreign governments are concerned about “violence by extremist settlers.”

“I will continue to fight Palestinian terrorism as if there is no violence by extremist settlers — and against violence by extremist settlers as if there is no Palestinian terrorism,” he pledged.

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Israeli news site Walla reported Wednesday that the PA Foreign Ministry called Bar-Lev’s statements “a step in the right direction” and the “first official recognition” of settler violence against Palestinians, but added that “it is not enough.”

It called on more government ministers to “end their silence and declare that they condemn and oppose settler terrorism and attacks on Palestinians.”

The PA added that this would help create trust between Israel and the Palestinians, which could in turn lead to a “solution to the conflict.”

Former prime minister and head of the opposition Benjamin Netanyahu shared the PA’s statement on Twitter and said, “The Bennett-Lapid government continues to shame Israel.”

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett had previously defended the settler community, saying they “suffer from violence and terror every day, for decades” and calling them “a defensive wall for all of us.”

He added that it is wrong to condemn an “entire public” for the actions of a few.

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