Israel’s ‘terrorism, threat and intimidation won’t frighten us!’ – says Palestinian Prime Minister Shtayyeh

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Israeli troops brutally attack a Palestinian woman in Jerusalem

THE agreement between Israeli Prime Minister-Designate Benjamin Netanyahu and extremist Itamar Ben Gvir is ‘a broad call for an escalation in the violence in the conflict’, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates said yesterday.

It also condemned Israeli government plans to start building 9,000 settlement units on former Jerusalem Airport land, thus isolating northern Jerusalem from its Palestinian surroundings.

The Ministry further condemned statements by members of the next right-wing coalition headed by Netanyahu, particularly by Ben Gvir and his followers regarding allowing Jews to pray at the Muslim holy site, the Al-Aqsa Mosque, easing open fire policy on Palestinians, and allocating huge budgets to legalise dozens of Jewish-only settlement outposts in the occupied territories.

‘All of this would deepen and increase Jewish terrorism and armed settler militias in the occupied West Bank,’ warned the Ministry, holding Netanyahu responsible for this ‘extremist and racist policy and its repercussions’.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said: ‘The features of the next Israeli government have become clear, along with its aggressive and colonial programmes and plans to cancel the 1967 borders, strengthen colonial outposts in order to turn them into new settlements, provide them with what they need, and cover them legally, financially and politically, despite knowing that all settlements are illegal and illegitimate under international law.’

Shtayyeh warned that the Israeli government intends to bolster the settler militias with protection from the army, inviting further escalation to an already tense situation.

‘This terrorism, threat, and intimidation will not frighten us,’ said Shtayyeh, stressing that it will not deter the Palestinian people from continuing popular resistance and remain resilient in Jerusalem, Gaza, and everywhere in the homeland.

Meanwhile, Israeli military detained over 17 Palestinians, including a journalist, in overnight raids early yesterday morning across the occupied territories.

They seized journalist Sabri Jibril, 35, after raiding and searching his home in the town of Tuquo, southeast of Bethlehem.

The detention of Jibril came a few days after he’d been held at an Israeli army checkpoint after returning from an event in support of prisoners where he’d taken pictures. His cellphone and press card were seized.

Israeli Army forces also seized six Jerusalem governorate residents, including five from Hizma, east of Jerusalem, and one from Qatanna, to the northwest of Jerusalem and three others from Ramallah.

Meanwhile, the Israeli navy detained six Gaza fishermen who were on two boats sailing in the Rafah waters in the south of the Gaza Strip. They seized the boats and detained the fishermen.

Also yesterday, Israeli occupation forces demolished two Palestinian-owned houses to the east of the occupied West Bank city of Hebron and ordered the demolition of an elementary school in Masafer Yatta, south of Hebron.

Each house was 120 square metres in area and inhabited by 12 people, who have now become homeless.

Local residents said the ongoing Israeli violations against their houses, lands and farms, aim to force them out of the area in order to expand the Jewish-only Kiryat Arba settlement, which is built on land seized from Palestinians.

Meanwhile, the Israeli military issued a demolition order against a school in Khashem al-Karm community in Masafer Yatta, in the South Hebron Hills.

Israeli soldiers raided the area and delivered the order against the school to be carried out within 96 hours.

The elementary school contains five classrooms and serves 35 pupils from the community and others nearby.

Last week, the Israeli military demolished the Isfey elementary school, which is funded by donor countries, also in Masafer Yatta, where 32 students were getting an education.