Release of Extremists Behind Huwara Rampage by Israel Sparks Outrage
The Hamas resistance group from Palestine has strongly condemned the recent decision made by the Israeli judicial system to free a majority of Jewish extremists who were under suspicion for their involvement in a settler rampage that occurred in a Palestinian town in the West Bank over the weekend.
Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said in a statement on Friday that “the Israeli judiciary’s decision to release the terrorist settlers, who carried out the Huwara pogrom in Nablus, confirms once again the occupying Israeli regime’s fascism and racism against the Palestinian nation.”
He added that, “The act also shows the regime’s complicity in the crime perpetrated against Palestinians before the eyes of the international community, and thus emboldens Israeli settler militias to exhibit more aggression.”
Qassem called on the international community to take serious and practical measures to punish Israeli authorities, hold them accountable for the Huwara pogrom as well as other crimes against Palestinians people, and act beyond words of condemnation.
On Thursday night, Israeli judicial officials released most of the Israeli settlers who had been arrested against the backdrop of the pogrom they carried out over the weekend in the Palestinian town of Huwwara, south of Nablus.
Media sources said the settlers were released based on a court ruling, which alleged there were no enough evidence to convict the settlers, despite the availability of tens of videos documenting the terrorist attack on the town, which resulted in the killing of a Palestinian aid worker, the injury of many others and the torching of hundreds of homes and vehicles.
The Israeli court’s ruling came amid racist remarks by hardcore Israeli minister of finance Bezalel Smotrich who said the Palestinian town of Huwwara should be “wiped out.”
“I think the village of Huwwara needs to be wiped out. I think Israel should do it,” Smotrich was quoted as saying by Israeli media outlets on Wednesday.
The office of the European Union Representative in al-Quds condemned Smotrich’s racist remarks as “unacceptable,” saying, “They incite to indiscriminate violence in a situation which is already extremely tense.”
The EU expressed in a press statement its “great concerns regarding the spiraling violence on the ground,” and emphasized that “Immediate measures of de-escalation were necessary.”
The statement added, “The comments of Smotrich go in the opposite direction, and are unacceptable and intolerable.”
“We call on the Israeli administration to disavow those comments and to work together with all the parties involved to defuse tensions,” the EU pointed out.
France also strongly denounced the recent racist remarks by the far-right Israeli minister of finance, in which he called for the Palestinian town of Huwara to be wiped out.
“We were appalled by the Israeli minister’s statements regarding the Palestinian village of Huwara. These statements are unacceptable and irresponsible,” French foreign ministry spokeswoman Anne-Claire Legendre told reporters on Friday.
She stressed that these statements will only lead to an increase in “hatred and the current spiral of violence,” calling on the Israeli regime, in accordance with its international obligations as an occupying power, to protect Palestinian civilians and prosecute the perpetrators.
Moreover, Saudi Arabia and Qatar on Friday condemned a call by an Israeli minister for the Palestinian town of Huwara to be “wiped out,” with Riyadh describing it as “racist and irresponsible.”
The Saudi Foreign Ministry expressed its “complete rejection of such racist and irresponsible statements, which reflect the massive violence and extremism the Israeli occupation entity is exercising against the brotherly Palestinians.”
Qatar described Smotrich’s comments as “hateful and provocative” and said it considered them “a serious incitement to a war crime.”
Smotrich’s remarks have been met with condemnations from the European Union and many countries around the world as incitement of violence and terrorism.