Minister: Suspend Anti-Israel Rahat Deputy Mayor

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Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel has called on Interior Minister Rabbi Aryeh Deri to remove the responsibilities of the deputy mayor of Rahat, Amar Alhozile, for incitement against IDF soldiers. In a letter to Deri, Ariel said that Alhozile “is well known for his radical stances against the state and his constant and steady support for terrorists and Palestinian terrorist prisoners.”

Among other things, Alhozile wrote in a social media post that Bedouins who serve in the IDF are “traitors.” In addition, Ariel said, Alhozile made threats against a Jewish IDF officer who works with the Bedouin population on IDF recruitment. “Alhozile expresses admiration for Palestinian terrorist prisoners, and has called immigrants from Ethiopia and Russia ‘invaders.’ All this, while he holds an official office and is paid by the taxpayers of Israel.”

In response, Alhozile told Yisrael Hayom that his comments were “taken out of context. I never made any threats, and my positions on the rights of Palestinians to live together with the Jewish people are well known. Minister Ariel is attempting to impose a dictatorship and to strip us of our freedom of speech.”

In response to query for comment by the newspaper, the Interior Ministry said that Ariel’s letter “has been received and is being dealt with.”