Israeli defense minister condemns settler violence against Palestinians

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Tuesday condemned violence against Palestinians by Jewish settlers in the West Bank, saying in a state of law, only the police and the military had the right to use force.

“There is, sadly, violence from extremists that we must condemn,” Gallant told a news conference, hours after the United States announced it would impose visa bans against individuals involved in undermining peace, security or stability in the occupied West Bank.

The West Bank, among the territories where Palestinians seek statehood, has experienced a surge of violence in recent months amid expanding Jewish settlements and a nearly decade-old impasse in US-sponsored peacemaking.

“In a state of law, and Israel is a state of law, the right to use violence belongs only to those who are certified to do so by the government, in our case that’s the [Israeli army], the Israeli police, the Shin Bet (security service) and such,” Gallant said.

“Nobody else has any authority to use violence,” he said.

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