Tayseer Khaled , member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), warned of the reduced terms for Israeli settlers to carry weapons, which was recently approved by the Israeli Minister of Internal Security, Gilad Ardan.
Khaled said, in a released statement, that there are currently about 145,000 Israel settlers in the occupied Palestinian lands with possession of permits to carry weapons, not including soldiers, police officers and others who carry firearms during work.
He further explained that the increase of weapons license standards will increase the number of Israelis holding a license to 35,000-40,000; as a result, this will lead to an increase in the number of Israeli settlers carrying weapons in Israeli settlements and outposts to some 200,000 settlers.
Khalid noted that the plan, adopted by the Israeli Ministry of Security, “includes conditions that also allow young settlers to acquire weapons for those living in a settlement near the apartheid wall, which was previously described by the former US President George W. Bush Jr. as a snake crawling in the womb of the West Bank.”
“This also extends to young Israeli settlers living near borders; hence all the settlers will be armed. Note that, Israeli officers and individuals performing permanent service in the Israeli army are allowed to retain weapons in their possession even after they are discharged from the service; in which they may ask to be allowed to carry weapons after demobilization.”
He stressed that these instructions, which are encouraged by the Israeli government to reduce the conditions for obtaining a firearm license under the conditions of living in a settlement close to the Apartheid Wall, mean allowing any Israeli settler who has been trained in firearms to qualify for a permit to acquire weapons, used only to kill and intimidate the Palestinian citizens.
Khaled called upon international forums, including the United Nations’ (UN) Security Council, the International Criminal Court and the General Assembly to hold its responsibility towards the danger of these Israeli arrangements; he also demanded urgent international intervention to protect the Palestinian people, especially in the light of the record of Israeli settler crimes against the Palestinian citizens along the years
On Thursday, Israeli settlers attacked two Palestinian youths near a Nablus-area checkpoint in the northern West Bank. Israeli settlers’ attacks have recently increased, mainly in the Nablus district, during the past week.