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Netanyahu’s government increases tensions in West Bank

Instead of trying to calm tensions, the Netanyahu government advances bills encouraging the settlement enterprise and deepening the occupation.
A Palestinian gestures as smoke rises during clashes with Israeli troops near the Jewish settlement of Beit El, near Ramallah, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank December 13, 2018. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman - RC160B728C10

The government’s only strategy is to "go from one use of force to the next without considering any measure, idea or tool that could restore calm. The only tools it uses are those that lead to further deterioration.” This was how the former head of Israel’s Mossad, Shabtai Shavit, described on Dec. 17 the approach of the government in the face of the violent escalation in the West Bank. Shavit, interviewed on Kan Radio, argued that decisions such as expelling terrorists’ families from their homes or bulldozing their homes, allegedly aimed at deterring potential terrorists, are unacceptable by international law, and their damage to Israel could far outweigh their benefits.

Indeed, by using more and more force, Israel’s right-wing government doggedly refuses to draw the obvious inference from its policies — deeper occupation, settlement expansion and destabilization of the Palestinian Authority (PA) — and the price Israel is paying and will be forced to pay for generations.

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