Israel is making it easier to Own Guns and sends more Troops to the West Bank
Israel's security cabinet has approved measures that will make it easier for Israelis to obtain permits to own weapons so "thousands more civilians" can acquire them, and will "strengthen" Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank.
A day before the measure was announced, Israel also announced over the weekend that it was increasing its military presence in the West Bank.
The decisions are a response to the attack on an East Jerusalem synagogue that killed seven on Friday (the deadliest for Jews in Jerusalem since 2008) and escalating tensions after months of clashes in the West Bank, culminating in the army's operation in Jenin with the most -at least 9 Palestinians killed. Another attack was reported on Saturday in which there were no casualties, but a 13-year-old Palestinian boy was named as the perpetrator. Dozens have been detained since the two attacks.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to discuss the issue during his Middle East tour, in which after Egypt (where he has already arrived) the stop will be Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian National Authority, whose leaders met in Ramallah on Sunday to discuss the situation, called the new measures "collective punishment" and warned they would only increase tensions. Hamas-linked analyst Mustafa al-Sawaf described Israel's decisions as a step towards a new "intifada" (uprising).
"Civilians can defend themselves"
The weapons proposal has been around for years, but was revived by far-right Internal Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, whose presence in Benjamin Netanyahu's government, which took power this year, is causing tension among Palestinians. "When civilians have...
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