Skip to main content

US delivers 'tough talk' to Israeli officials over West Bank escalation

The Israeli government has been warned that the Biden administration won’t stand idly by while settlers attack West Bank Palestinians.
TOPSHOT - A member of Israeli security forces and one from settlement security walk past a burning car reportedly set on fire by settlers from the nearby Bracha settlement, in the Palestinian Burin village in the occupied West Bank on February 25, 2023. (Photo by jaafar ashtiyeh / AFP) (Photo by JAAFAR ASHTIYEH/AFP via Getty Images)

TEL AVIV — Shocking settler violence against West Bank Palestinians has polarized Israeli society and antagonized an already exasperated Biden administration.

Israel’s top three security officials issued a joint communique on Saturday condemning the recent rampaging by Jewish settlers against Palestinians in the West Bank. “These attacks go against every moral and Jewish value and are nationalist terrorism in the full sense of the term, and we are obliged to fight them,” wrote Israel’s top soldier Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, Shin Bet security agency head Ronen Bar, and Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai. 

Their use of the term "nationalist terrorism," almost always reserved for Palestinian violence against Israelis, found widespread condemnation among settlers and the government ministers who back them. 

“It is as if the government supports the settlers rather than the Israel Defense Forces and the Shin Bet,” a former senior defense official told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. 

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.