RAMALLAH, Thursday, March 02, 2023 (WAFA) – A senior Palestine Liberation Organization official Wednesday condemned an Israeli minister’s call to “wipe out” Huwwara town, south of the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, the epicenter of settler vigilante mob’s violent rage.
Secretary-General of the PLO Executive Committee Hussein Al-Sheikh labeled Israeli finance minister Bezalel Smotrich call to erase the town “racist terrorism”.
“The terrorist Smotrich calls for erasing #Huwara from existence. A racist terrorist invitation announced by a terrorist minister in the occupation government," al-Sheikh tweeted.
He called for “international human rights organizations to prosecute this terrorist on charges of calling for massacres against Palestinians.”
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh slammed Smotrich for his “terrorist” and “racist” remarks, which “portend a serious escalation” against the Palestinian people in the occupied territories.
Shtayyeh added in a press statement that considering that Smotrich’s remarks constitute an official incitement to new massacres against the Palestinian people in Huwwara and other West Bank towns and villages, they are sufficient per se to prosecute him at international courts.
He called for the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU) along with all international organizations not only to condemn Smotrich’s remarks, but also to give effect to the international resolutions supporting boycott and sanctions against Israel and bringing it accountable for its crimes.
On Wednesday, Smotrich, who in addition to being finance minister is responsible for Israel's civil administration in the occupied West Bank, said Israel should "wipe out" the Palestinian village of Huwwara in the wake of a violent rampage by settlers on Sunday.
“The Palestinian village of Huwwara should be wiped out. The state needs to do it and not private citizens,” he said.
On Sunday, hundreds of Israeli settlers, flanked by soldiers, attacked Palestinian towns and villages near Nablus, following a shooting that killed two Israelis in the town of Huwwara earlier that day.
In the rampage on Huwwara and other Palestinian villages, at least one Palestinian was killed and nearly 400 were wounded. Israel's police have arrested 10 people for suspected involvement in the attack.
Before and after the mob violence took place, several Israeli politicians, including Smotrich, appeared to encourage or support the settlers' actions.
Smotrich liked a tweet that called for Israeli politicians to show no mercy and that the "village of Huwwara should be erased today".
On Tuesday, former defence minister Benny Gantz said Smotrich wanted "another Nakba", a term that describes the massacres and forced expulsion Palestinians endured at the hands of Zionist militias in 1948, as the new Israeli state came into existence.
The Nakba, which means "the catastrophe" in Arabic, is the name given to the massacres and forced expulsion Palestinians endured at the hands of Zionist militias in 1948, as the new Israeli state came into existence. It left an estimated 15,000 Palestinians dead and some 750,000 fled from their homes.