Israel’s Public Security Minister: Settler Attack on Activists Is ‘Terrorism’

Israel's public security minister called the masked settlers who attacked human rights activists on Friday a 'terror organization,' but stated that it is 'very difficult' for police to arrest the perpetrators

One of the activists who was attacked in the West Bank, on Friday

Israel’s public security minister decried Friday’s settler attack against human rights activists in the West Bank as the “actions of a terror organization,” after over a dozen masked assailants violently attacked the group near the Palestinian village of Burin.

“In this case, it is apparently an organized action, in my view, of a terror group working together,” Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev said Sunday, adding that the group targeted and harmed “Israeli citizens who came to demonstrate at the site.”

When questioned on the lack of arrests, Bar-Lev said “it took time” for the police to arrive, as the attack took place in Area B of the West Bank, where Bar-Lev said “the army wasn’t present.” According to the Oslo Accords, Area B of the West Bank is under Israeli military control and Palestinian civil control.

“Until the army gets there it takes time. Until the police were sent it took time and therefore …the moment the police arrive at the site, the terrorists are no longer there,” he said.

Bar-Lev added that it is “very difficult” for police to collect evidence, even if one of the attackers had been identified.

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