Israeli military forces have surrounded the Palestinian village of Bani Naim, in the southern West Bank, after a teenage Israeli settler was stabbed to death by a 19-year-old Palestinian, who was reported from that village. Officials have vowed punitive demolitions in the village, and have revoked all permits from the alleged attacker’s relatives.
That appears to be just the first step in Israeli “retaliation” against people who weren’t involved in the attack, since the attacker was already slain. Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel is talking up broader revenge moves, including seizing more territory and expanding settlements.
Ariel, a pro-settler hawk at any rate, and reportedly a cousin of the slain girl, said that more seizures and settlements were “a fitting Zionist response,” and that it was Israel’s destiny to expand its sovereignty all the way from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River.
Israeli officials often present their revenge attacks as “deterrent” in nature, though in practice such moves tend to fuel larger public protests, which themselves fuel more military crackdowns, and so on. After decades, building settlements out of revenge seems an end unto itself, and the fact that it doesn’t do anything except ensure more escalation just means more pretexts for settlements.
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