Israel’s Smotrich Threatens To Turn West Bank Into ‘Ruins’ Like Gaza

Smotrich holds a minister position in the Defense Ministry that gives him power to expand settlements in the West Bank

Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich has threatened Palestinians in the West Bank that Israel could turn their cities “into ruins like the Gaza Strip.”

Smotrich’s threat comes as violence from Israeli soldiers and settlers in the West Bank against Palestinians continues to escalate. Since October 7, over 500 Palestinians have been killed in the territory.

In a video posted on May 30, Smotrich addressed his “neighbors beyond the fence” in the West Bank cities of Tulkarem, Nur al-Shams, Shuweika, and Qalqilya.

“We will turn you into ruins like in the Gaza Strip if the terror you are inflicting on the settlements continues. Terrorism against the citizens of Israel must stop,” Smotrich said, according to HuffPost.

Smotrich, leader of the Religious Zionism party, is a settler himself and holds another minister position in the Defense Ministry that gives him the power to expand settlements in the West Bank, essentially making him the occupation governor of the territory.

Smotrich and other members of the Netanyahu government are not shy about their desire to annex the West Bank and push Palestinians out. When the government was first formed in December 2022, the coalition released a statement that said it would prioritize the expansion of West Bank settlements, with annexation being the ultimate goal.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.