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Naftali Bennett

An ultra-nationalist Israeli minister has been accused of advocating that entire Palestinian villages be bulldozed as an answer to the wave of violence, writes Stephen Oryszczuk

Education Minister Naftali Bennett, a former settler leader who heads the Jewish Home party, was quoted by the Palestinian Information Centre as pushing for an extreme response.

“We have to bury Palestinian anti-occupation fighters in secret cemeteries and knock down all the homes in their native villages,” he is quoted as saying. 

“Let’s roll into every single home and rake through every single corner. The anti-occupation fighters must bear in mind that all of those around them are under threat.”

At Sunday’s cabinet meeting, he told colleagues that Palestinians are not preventing their children from committing stabbing attacks because they know parents of slain assailants receive money from the Palestinian Authority.

It followed a briefing by Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot, who reiterated that troops could act only if there was a threat to life. “I don’t want a soldier to empty a magazine on a girl with scissors,” he said.