TEL AVIV – Israel’s far-right nationwide safety minister lashed out at supermodel Bella Hadid on Friday for criticizing his latest fiery televised remarks about Palestinians within the occupied West Financial institution.

In an interview earlier this week with Israel’s Channel 12 following two lethal Palestinian assaults in opposition to Israelis within the occupied territory, Nationwide Safety Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir argued that his proper to freedom of motion as a Jewish settler outweighs the identical proper for Palestinians.

“My right, the right of my wife and my children to move around Judea and Samaria, is more important than freedom of movement for the Arabs,” Ben-Gvir stated on TV Wednesday, utilizing the biblical identify for the West Financial institution. “The right to life comes before freedom of movement.”

Addressing Mohammad Magadli, a well-known Israeli-Arab television host who was in the studio, Ben-Gvir added: “Sorry, Mohammad. But that’s the reality.”

His statement drew widespread criticism as commentators seized on it as proof of allegations that Israel was turning into an apartheid system that seeks to maintain Jewish hegemony from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. The catchphrase “Sorry, Mohammad” became meme fodder for social media as critics posted it alongside videos of Israeli violence against Palestinians.

Hadid, a world-famous supermodel and social media influencer whose father is Palestinian, shared an excerpt from Ben-Gvir’s interview with her 59.5 million followers on Instagram on Thursday, writing: “In no place, no time, especially in 2023 should one life be more valuable than another’s. Especially simply because of their ethnicity, culture or pure hatred.”

She also posted a video from leading Israeli rights group B’Tselem showing Israeli soldiers in the southern West Bank city of Hebron telling a resident that Palestinians are not permitted to walk on a certain street because it is reserved for Jews. “Does this remind anyone of anything?” she wrote.

Ben-Gvir responded angrily on Friday to Hadid’s post.

“I invite you to Kiryat Arba, to see how we live here, how every day, Jews who have done nothing wrong to anyone in their lives are murdered here,” he wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. Ben-Gvir lives in the settlement of Kiryat Arba near Hebron, the largest Palestinian city.

Earlier this week, Palestinian gunmen opened fire on an Israeli car near Hebron, killing an Israeli woman and seriously wounding the driver. That attack came just days after a Palestinian shooting attack killed an Israeli father and son in the northern Palestinian town of Hawara.

Ben-Gvir acknowledged the backlash but doubled down on his original statement. “So yes, the right of me and my fellow Jews to travel and return home safely on the roads of Judea and Samaria outweighs the right of terrorists who throw stones at us and kill us,” he wrote.

Ben-Gvir has been convicted prior to now of inciting racism and of supporting a terrorist group. He was referred to as an admirer of rabbi Meir Kahane, who was banned from Parliament and whose Kach get together was branded a terrorist group by the USA earlier than he was assassinated in New York in 1990. Kach wished to strip Arab Israelis of their citizenship, segregate Israeli public areas, and ban marriages between Jews and non-Jews. Earlier than becoming a member of politics, Ben-Gvir hung a portrait in his front room of a Jewish man who fatally shot 29 Palestinians within the West Financial institution in 1994.

A once-marginal far-right activist, Ben-Gvir now wields vital energy because the nationwide safety minister overseeing the Israeli police drive in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s authorities.

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