Yossi Dagan emphasized on Monday that there is no “pogrom atmosphere” in Judea and Samaria, attributing recent violence to a small group of extremists.
The head of the Samaria Regional Council was responding to an unnamed security official who was quoted earlier in the day as saying that “the scope of the phenomenon is growing. If in the past there were only a few dozen rioters, now there’s an atmosphere of one pogrom after the next. A hunt—one village after the next.”
On June 20, two Palestinian terrorists opened fire on a restaurant near the town of Eli in northern Samaria, killing four Israeli civilians and wounding four others. In response, hundreds of Jews participated in a series of riots in Palestinian towns and villages, burning homes, businesses, vehicles and agricultural land.
“There is no ‘pogrom atmosphere’ in Judea and Samaria, it is an abhorrent lie. There is an extremist minority that needs to be dealt with, an exception that reflects badly on the general public,” said Dagan.
“There are over half a million Israeli citizens living in Judea and Samaria. Everyone knows that they are the most normative citizens and the most contributive to society. Even according to police data, the lowest per-resident crime rates are in the Samaria and Judea District,” he continued.
“Everyone knows that those who participated in these severe incidents are troubled teens who don’t even live in Judea and Samaria, and even those who are Judea and Samaria residents are a small minority, most of whom are youth-at-risk.
“This cynical attempt to tie this invalid phenomenon to include and defame half a million Israeli citizens in Judea and Samaria is a fraudulent attempt that is disgusting and, most of all, reeks of politics. Every fair person must dismiss it.”
The true “pogrom atmosphere,” he continued, was in the Palestinian Authority, “where there are red signs at the entrance that read ‘Entry to Israeli citizens is dangerous.'”
He continued: “There is a pogrom atmosphere in Shechem [Nablus], where a German tourist with an Israeli flag sticker on his windshield, or an Israeli who got lost, enters the city, and thousands attempt to lynch them. That’s a pogrom atmosphere.”