West News Wire: In a tweet that has been deleted by the site, a far-right Israeli lawmaker reacted to Israel’s deadly attack on Jenin on Thursday by saying, “Keep killing them.”
“Nice and professional work by the fighters in Jenin, keep killing them,” tweeted Jewish Power party member and Knesset member Almog Cohen.
The message was taken down after receiving massive internet criticism for “violating Twitter guidelines”
In one of the worst raids in the occupied West Bank in recent memory, Israeli forces raided the Jenin refugee camp on Thursday, killing nine Palestinians and injuring 20 others.
On Thursday morning, a number of soldiers carrying large weapons entered the camp and made for a structure that served as a gathering area for the people.
With the most recent deaths, there have now been 30 Palestinian deaths this month, including at least six children.
Cohen, a member of the parliament since the elections on November 1st, worked on a SWAT unit for the Israeli police for 11 years.
In October, Cohen made public a picture of himself, taken nine years earlier, bending over Taleb al-Touri and his two sons Rauf and Nidal, three Palestinians from the village of Rahat, who were shackled and lying on the ground.
With a winking emoji, Cohen captioned the image, “Those down there remember what I accomplished in the army.”
In 2013, the three Palestinians testified that the officers bound them, assaulted them in the groin area, urinated on their faces and threatened them with “a bullet to the head”. No disciplinary action was ever taken against any of the police officers.
The image enabled the three men to identify Cohen as one of the officers who attacked them and call on the justice ministry to reopen the case, which the investigation unit had closed because, as it claimed, those officers could not be identified.
In order to “combat criminality among Bedouins,” Cohen established an armed vigilante organization in May to patrol southern Israel. In August, he deleted his social media accounts.
He is hardly the first official from Israel’s far right to applaud the murder of Palestinians.
Israel’s new national security minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, praised the execution of the Palestinian man as “precise, rapid, and rigorous” and referred to the soldier who shot him as a “hero.”
In the occupied West Bank, Israeli troops killed more Palestinians in 2022 than in any other single year since the Second Intifada, according to figures collated by news reporters.
In the occupied territories, Israeli attacks claimed the lives of at least 220 individuals in 2022, including 48 children. 167 of the total number of killings came from the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and 53 were from the Gaza Strip.
Of those killed in the West Bank last year, 55 were in Jenin, the highest of any region in occupied Palestine.