Economy Minister Naftali Bennett slammed US Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday for comments the top American diplomat made, indicating that the unresolved conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians is contributing to gain made by the Islamic State group.
“Asserting that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict reinforces ISIS, gives a boost to global terrorism,” Bennett charged.
In remarks Kerry made Thursday, he said the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was thought of by various leaders as fueling violence and leading to recruitment by the jihadist organization.
“It turns out that even when a British Muslim beheads a British Christian, there will always be those who blame the Jews,” Bennett said in reference to videos of recent decapitations of Western captives by an Islamic State member who speaks with an English accent.
He added that there is no justification for terrorism and that Israeli is fighting against the phenomenon.
During remarks at a White House ceremony for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha Thursday, Kerry implied that the strife resulting from the decades-long dispute between Israel and the Palestinians has harbored an environment prone to fostering extremism.
“I think that it is more critical than ever that we be fighting for peace, and I think it is more necessary than ever… As I went around and met with people in the course of our discussions about the ISIL (Islamic State) coalition, the truth is we – there wasn’t a leader I met with in the region who didn’t raise with me spontaneously the need to try to get peace between Israel and the Palestinians, because it was a cause of recruitment and of street anger and agitation that they felt,” Kerry said.
Israeli authorities estimate that over 30 Israeli citizens have joined the ranks of the Sunni jihadist group.
Earlier this week, reports surfaced that three additional Arab Israelis, from Yafia village in the Galilee, had joined Islamic State in Syria.
Lidar Gravé-Lazi contributed to this report.