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Knesset member threatens to 'blow up' Palestinian, Israeli orphans' summer camp

A debate at the Knesset Education Committee meeting grew heated over a summer camp for Israeli and Palestinian orphans, threatening the funding of a venerable Israeli children's institution.
Almog Cohen (R) of the far-right Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) and right wing activists demonstrate in support of the Israeli army operation in the West Bank city of Jenin, at the Tel Aviv University campus on Jan. 30, 2023.

Knesset members from Israel's ruling coalition threatened to take action Monday against a boarding school called the Ben Shemen Youth Village for renting its complex to host a summer camp for the children of bereaved Israeli and Palestinian families

Jewish Power Knesset member Almog Cohen said, "I’ll blow up your summer camp and shut you down, god willing."

Cohen, a far-right lawmaker, and other coalition members threatened Ben Shemen's management at a meeting of the Knesset Education Committee convened at their request. The lawmakers, all members of the committee, demand that the school cancel its agreement for the Israeli-Palestinian group to rent out the place for the summer. 

The Israeli-Palestinian Bereaved Families for Peace organization brings together families who lost their loved ones in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Among other things, members of the group speak to youth groups and schools. The group also organizes an annual alternative ceremony on Israel’s Memorial Day for fallen soldiers. Since 2003, the group has been holding summer camps for Israeli and Palestinian orphans aged 14 to 18, each time in a different location. The site chosen for this summer was Ben Shemen, located in the center of Israel. The organization had arranged to rent the site, which is empty during the summer break. 

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