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Israeli minister keeps up campaign against growing settler violence

Public Security Minister Omer Bar Lev's efforts are being challenges by other Cabinet ministers and Knesset members.
Israeli Minister of Public Security Omer Bar Lev arrives for a photo at the president's residence during a ceremony for the new coalition government, Jerusalem, June 14, 2021.

Over 400 Israeli activists from left-wing organizations showed up Feb. 4 in the Palestinian village of Burin in the West Bank. They came to demonstrate solidarity with the villagers and to help local farmers plant olive trees to replace the trees torn down in a violent attack two weeks earlier. The perpetrators of the assault were extremist settlers, all of them masked and armed with clubs and other lethal weapons. They were filmed attacking and beating up activists from Rabbis for Human Rights, in one case even setting fire to a vehicle belonging to one of their victims. Many of their victims required medical attention. One of them had his arm broken.

This time, the demonstrators from the left were joined by Knesset members Gaby Lasky and Mossi Raz of Meretz and Ahmad Tibi of the Arab Joint List. This time, dozens of soldiers and police from the Judea and Samaria district were on-site to secure the planting and to protect the participants from another attack by settler extremists.

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