Naftali Bennett said Monday that a quote attributed to him, saying, “I’ve killed many Arabs in my life, and there’s no problem with that,” was taken out of context. He made the statement during Sunday’s cabinet meeting authorizing the release of Palestinian prisoners, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Monday morning.
The economy minister and Jewish Home party head was arguing with National Security Adviser Ya’akov Amidror about the prisoner release. According to the Hebrew-language report in Yedioth‘s print edition, Bennett “proposed a problematic and controversial way for Israel to avoid having to put [captured terror suspects] on trial.”
Bennett: “If you catch terrorists, you have to simply kill them.”
Amidror: “Listen, that’s not legal.”
Bennett: “I’ve killed lots of Arabs in my life – and there’s no problem with that.”
After repeated attempts at reaching Naftali Bennett’s spokesperson, she said that either the reporter from Yedioth Ahronoth received wrong information on exactly what Bennett said at the meeting, or he decided to interpret it this way. She insists that when Bennett referred to killing Arabs, it was in the context of “operations” he participated in while serving in combat situations in the army, and that he was expressing that a more effective policy is to “wipe out terrorists” rather then keeping them alive in prison and then releasing them.
This post will be updated with any further relevant information.