Israel's President Isaac Herzog
Amos Ben-Gershom/GPOIsrael's President Isaac Herzog

Herzog also urges security services to fight against violence and crime in Arab society

Israel’s President Isaac Herzog on Monday strongly condemned recent attacks by Jewish settlers on Palestinian villages in the West Bank.  

Speaking at the Shin Bet domestic security agency's honorees ceremony, the president commented on the challenges that the agency is facing. 

“The first is the fight against civil terrorism - and at the head of it - violence and crime in Arab society. This is really a malignant disease. These are criminal organizations that behave as terrorist organizations for all intents and purposes. The state does not exist for them, and they work under it, especially in the local government,” Herzog said, referring to over 100 Arab Israelis killed since the beginning of 2023. 

The president also spoke about the recent terror attack that claimed the lives of four Israelis near the West Bank settlement of Eli. In response to their murder, far-right Jewish settlers attacked Palestinian villages, damaging houses and cars and wounding local residents. 

“To our shock, we were able to see that there are Israeli citizens, who found in these difficult and painful events a reason or twisted reasoning for violent, cruel and unbridled riots against innocent Palestinian residents. I strongly condemn this violence. These actions are illegal and immoral. They are completely wrong, they are gnawing away at our foundations, and are dropping the ground under all of us,” Herzog stated. 

He added that Israel is “at a critical point that requires responsibility on the part of everyone.” The president also urged all parties to treat Israel’s security services protecting the country’s citizens “with respect and fairness.” 

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