Abd Rantisi, Israel

November 20, 2011

Why allow the settlers to carry guns while preventing the Palestinians from that and imprisoned in Israeli jails, even if for the purpose of fishing?

Hello and thank you for your question,

Your question is interesting because it addresses the difference in status between Israelis and Palestinians in territories occupied by the Israeli army.  In short the reason settlers are allowed to carry weapons and Palestinians are not is that the settlers acquire them for self-defense, protection against intrusion by terrorists (This is a real and constant threat.  Just 8 months ago intruders to the Itamar settlement stabbed a family to death).

Before you write off this answer, you should know that each settlement falls under the jurisdiction of a governing council.  This means that if the settlers used their guns for offensive purposes, the Israeli army would stop them, and the government would isolate them.  This also happens.  Recently, fringe groups of settlers have been carrying out “price tag” attacks throughout Israel and the West Bank.  Most of these attacks are acts of vandalism, but the violence of these acts is notable.

On the other side, the Palestinians are the occupied people, which means their weapons would most likely be used against the occupation, most likely against civilian settlers.

According to these facts, it makes sense that the occupying army would prevent the occupied peoples from acquiring weapons.  But one might also ask why the occupying government (Israel) would allow part of its civilian population (settlers) to live in harms way to the point that they need to arm themselves.


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