By Tariq Azzoum
At the end of last month, Benjamin Netanyahu formed the most extreme Israeli government since the occupation of Palestine in 1948. “Israel’s” longest-serving prime minister returns to power after his Likud party formed a coalition with racist and ultra-Orthodox Jewish allies who are marked by their extremist ideology against not just Palestinian but Israelis as well.
The most right-wing extreme government in “Israel’s” history is now headed by aggressive political figures, including Itamar Ben-Gvir, who serves as the police minister and the leader of the Religious Zionist party, and Bezalel Smotrich, who serves now as the finance minister in the Netanyahu government.
Ben-Gvir came up through the Kahane Chai group, which is blacklisted in “Israel” and the United States for its virulently anti-Arab doctrine. Smotrich’s advocacy of settlers’ claims on the West Bank is informed by a dogmatic faith in Bible prophecy.
The new Israeli Police Minister has a long hand in supporting settlers’ terror and incitement to racism against Arabs and non-Jews.
Since the formation of the recent government, the cries of rejection among Israelis began to arise due to the outstanding threat presented by this government against the fragile Israeli community.
Great outrage has taken root in the Israeli community due to the unprecedented procedures taken by the Israeli police minister since his appointment. Former MK and deputy IOF Chief of Staff Yair Golan called on Tuesday for mass protests against Netanyahu’s government saying, “Against the malicious and evil government, there is only one way- a large-scale civil uprising”.
Thousands of Israelis demonstrated in multiple occupied cities, in protest against Netanyahu’s far-right government, which gives an indication that “Israel” is on the edge of a civil war.
Ben-Gvir commenced his term with a hard-line agenda, whipping up tension in the Palestinian territories by exerting pressure on Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons. He visited the recently renovated high-security Nafha prison to review the imprisonment conditions of Palestinian detainees and to ensure that these conditions never improve.
His tough political positions include his constant refusal to offer comfortable terms to Palestinian detainees, and has also advocated the introduction of the death penalty for them.
On Tuesday, January 3, 2023, Ben-Gvir provocatively stormed Al- Aqsa Mosque under heavy security escort in an attempt to change the “status quo” in the holy city, which was met by a wave of international condemnation that held the Israeli government responsible for any possible repercussions vis-a-vis its racist policies against Palestinian people and their sanctities. This step might have serious repercussions that could ignite a new war with Gaza and a new Intifada in the West Bank, which might be reflected in the entire region.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has called for imposing sanctions on the far-right Israeli occupation police minister for violating the sanctity of Al-Aqsa Mosque, considering this step as a blatant provocation against 1.7 billion Muslims around the globe that might in turn fuel a war in the region.
Diplomatically, the new Israeli government started to intensify pressure on the Palestinian Authority by seizing millions from Palestinian revenues as a tool of pressure, and expanding illegal settlements amid international concerns regarding this step. Its intention to boost settlement-building was received by a green light for Israeli settlers to increase their violations against Palestinian properties in the West Bank.
Ben-Gvir has ordered the Israeli police to ban the raising of the Palestinian flag in public places in occupied Palestine.
Amnesty International condemned this order saying, “it is one of many Israeli policies, enacted within the system of apartheid, which is designed to minimize the presence and visibility of Palestinians, and to suppress their voices”.
Before the Oslo Accords, the Israeli government considered the Palestinian flag to be a symbol of terrorism, but the interim peace agreements signed between the Palestine Liberation Organization and “Israel” in 1993 effectively lifted the ban. This step is a stark violation of all signed agreements with the PLO that might progressively change the parameters of the current “status quo”.
Last year, Palestinian flags were taken from mourners at the funeral of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, in order to efface the Palestinian identity and heritage.
Under the former Israeli government’s umbrella, the number of Palestinians murdered by the Israeli occupation forces reached more than 150 Palestinians, according to the UN envoy’s reports, which showed a sharp increase in violence against Palestinians. Now with more violent extremist ministers in the new government, the ratio of violence might go up, especially with Ben-Gvir’s intention to ease the orders of opening fire against Palestinians in the West Bank.
The far-right minister will bring the worst to the future of the occupation as long as he adopts his extremist ideology, amid regional concerns about the eruption of a comprehensive confrontation in the region, if he insists on violating Palestinian rights and holy sites. Different regional and international calls were delivered to Benjamin Netanyahu to be cautious and refrain from any measures that could inflame regional tensions.
Source: Al-Mayadin TV