Israel Defense Forces soldiers were seen on film footage dancing with Israeli settlers in the Arab town of Huwara on Monday night, the eve of the festival of Purim. Huwara is the site of recent violence where extremist settlers burned cars and destroyed local property.
The IDF said it would probe the incident, stressing that the conduct of the soldiers in the video was “not consistent with what is expected of fighters in operational activity” and that the deployed IDF soldiers were tasked to protect local Huwara residents from more violence.
A recent settler rampage followed the murder of two Israeli brothers, Hallel and Yigal Yaniv, who were shot and killed they drove through Huwara on Highway 60 . The Palestinian terrorist is still at large.
Palestinian residents and Jewish settlers reportedly clashed in Huwara on Monday as tensions continue to rise.
The IDF is also expected to probe this incident of soldiers seen dancing with settlers in Huwara, instead of being on guard duty. pic.twitter.com/u5YpFS7EhZ— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) March 6, 2023
Yesh Din, a left-wing Israeli human rights group, blasted the Israeli government for not stopping the violence of some settlers in the area.
“The pogroms in Huwara have continued, this time as part of the settlers’ Purim holiday celebrations. This all takes place under the auspices of the government and the lack of action by law enforcement agencies,” said Yesh Din.
The human rights group claimed that four local Arab residents were transported to a hospital after being wounded in settler attacks.
Following the murders of the Yaniv brothers, Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who had driven through the town shortly before the brothers, drew U.S. and international condemnation for his call to “wipe out” Huwara. He retracted his statement after a flurry of international condemnation, saying he spoke “in the heat of the moment.”
“I didn’t mean to harm innocent civilians when I said that we need to erase Huwara,” Smotrich said again recently, in response to U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides saying he would throw Smotrich off the Washington-bound plane he is scheduled for. “People sometimes use harsh terms which they don’t mean literally to give a strong message. It happens to everyone.”
Smotrich added that he was “discomfited by the need to clarify and that there are those who think that I support harming innocent civilians.”
The IDF released an announcement confirming that it had take action to stop the ongoing violence in Huwara.
“IDF and Border Police forces acted to disperse the incidents, using riot dispersal means,” stated the IDF, adding that "all gatherings were dispersed.”
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.