Members of La Familia riot near Damascus Gate on Sunday

Gantz says Israel should outlaw far-right groups that rioted in Jerusalem

Defense minister says security agencies mulling designating Jewish supremacy group Lehava and far-right soccer hooligans La Familia as terror groups; Bennett, Lapid join in condemnation

Moran Azulay |
Updated: 05.30.22, 19:19
Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Monday said Israel should outlaw right-wing extremist groups whose members were involved in unrest on Jerusalem Day and designate them as terror organizations.
  • Follow Ynetnews on Facebook and Twitter

  • Gantz pointed to La Familia — a collective of far-right soccer hooligans — and the Jewish supremacist group Lehava for their alleged involvement in several racist incidents targeting Palestinians during Sunday's festivities in the capital.
    3 View gallery
    מצעד הדגלים נעצר בשער שכם
    מצעד הדגלים נעצר בשער שכם
    Members of La Familia riot near Damascus Gate on Sunday
    (Photo: Reuters)
    Activists affiliated with the two groups hurled stones and insults at Palestinians during the march from Damascus Gate to the Western Wall.
    "I heard the nauseating cries of the minority of participants in Sunday's events," Gantz said at the opening of a faction meeting of his Blue & White party. "As defense minister, I believe it is time to examine whether these organizations are terror groups."
    "I know the security agencies are already considering the matter and trust that they will conduct the best examination," he said, adding that "agitators must be hunted down, wherever they are."
    Prime Minister Naftali Bennett also condemned both groups whom he said shamed and disrupted celebrations and promised they would be brought to justice.
    3 View gallery
    בני גנץ
    בני גנץ
    Defense Minister Benny Gantz at Knesset faction meeting on Monday
    (Photo: Amit Shabi)
    Bennett praised the police for their handling of the Jerusalem Day events in a letter.
    "We enforced our sovereignty over Jerusalem and showed that we will act according to what is right for the country and not according to threats made against us," he wrote, adding that the decision to allow the contentious Jerusalem flag march to go ahead through its traditional route, passing through the Muslim quarter, was the right call.
    "Barring a small group of extremists, with whom we will exact justice, celebrations were exhilarating and conducted properly," Bennett said.
    Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said the extremists sullied Jerusalem Day events.
    3 View gallery
    צועדים עם דגלי ישראל בעיר העתיקה
    צועדים עם דגלי ישראל בעיר העתיקה
    Religious Zionist youth march to Damascus Gate on Jerusalem Day
    (Photo: AFP)
    "The celebrations should not have violence and abuse by members of La Familia or the blatant racism of Lehava," Lapid said.
    "These people are not patriots. We will not let them rob us of our love of country and our Zionism," he said. "They are nothing but bullies who defile the Zionist ideas."
    He added the extremists were in the minority and it was "time to put them in their place."
    First published: 16:26, 05.30.22
    Talkbacks for this article 0