Israel’s far-right government is at the heart of a surge in violence

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Palestinians clean a burned shop a day after the clashes between Jewish settlers and Palestinians in Huwara, West Bank, on Monday. (credit: Kobi Wolf for The Washington Post)

By Ishaan Tharoor] | The Washington Post | Feb 28, 2023

“The combination of a far-right Israeli government that is escalating confrontations with Palestinians in the West Bank and a Palestinian youth movement that is newly dedicated to terrorism and armed struggle as preferred forms of resistance will only ensure more such days.”
— Israel Policy Forum

When confronted by scenes of bloodshed and destruction in Israel and the occupied territories, there’s a tendency to talk of “the cycle of violence.” In this view, the entrenched enmities and existential imperatives that drive conflict between Israelis and Palestinians are so powerful that they create their own lethal logic, a tortuous chain of atrocity that winds its way back a whole century.

That chain lengthened by a few more links this weekend when an organized force of vigilante Israeli settlers descended upon the West Bank town of Huwara on Sunday and carried out a deadly, destructive rampage, torching dozens of homes and scores of cars. The raid was described in some Israeli and Palestinian circles as a “pogrom.” It left at least one Palestinian civilian — Sameh al-Aqtash, 37, who had just returned from a stint in Turkey as a volunteer earthquake relief worker — dead, an estimated hundred more injured and a whole community traumatized.

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