MK Tzvika Foghel
MK Tzvika FoghelNoam Moshkovitz, Knesset spokesman

MK Tzvika Foghel (Otzma Yehudit) has been summoned to an interrogation by Lahav 433, Israel Police's national crime unit, following a statement he made in the aftermath of disturbances in the village of Huwara.

Hallel and Yagel Yaniv Hy"dwere murdered in the Arab village of Huwara, on Route 60 in Samaria, by a terrorist gunman. In response, Jewish residents of Samaria descended upon the village, frequently the scene of anti-Jewish violence, and set fire to several scrapyards, causing fire damage to the cars stored there. According to Arab sources, one Huwara resident was killed in the incident.

Speaking on Galei Yisrael the next day, Foghel stated that, "What residents of Judea and Samaria did last night in Huwara created the strongest deterrent the State of Israel has had since Defensive Shield. After murders like those yesterday, when the army doesn’t take action, villages need to burn.

"Yesterday a terrorist went out in Huwara, so Huwara should be shuttered and burned. That is what I want to see. That is the only way we will attain deterrence ... We have to get rid of the word ‘proportional’ and rid ourselves of the lack will to use collective punishment just because the courts don't like it. It’s time for the gloves to come off."

Foghel later issued a clarification, saying that his words had been "misinterpreted. I said that the government should take action to deter terrorists, certainly not private citizens, who must never take the law into their own hands. The role of a government and of the IDF is to provide all necessary protection for citizens, using attacks and determination.

Nonetheless, two weeks ago, attorney-general Gali Baharav-Miara authorized Israel Police to investigate Foghel on suspicion of incitement with relation to his statements made regarding Huwara.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir condemned the attorney-general for her decision to allow the interrogation to go ahead, saying, "This attorney-general who protected [Arab MK] Ayman Odeh, who attacked Minister Ben-Gvir, who protected [MK] Ofer Kassif who attacked police officers, who protected [Tel Aviv mayor] Ron Huldai who called for blood to flow in the streets, who protected Ehud Barak who called for a civil rebellion, who protected Ehud Olmert who called for 'hand-to-hand combat,' who protected [former IDF Chief of Staff] Dan Halutz who called for refusal to follow orders -- this attorney-general is now urgently authorizing the interrogation of a Knesset member who already issued a clear clarification and stated that his intention was that the IDF should do the job, not private citizens, and who stated clearly that citizens must not take the law into their hands and that he is against collective punishment against all Arabs and that only terrorists should be punished. There's one law for those on the Right and a totally different law for those on the Left, and this is decisive proof of why we so badly need judicial reform."

Labor party head MK Merav Michaeli also responded to the news, saying, "I congratulate the attorney-general for her decision to authorize the opening of an investigation, as we demanded, against the wicked and inciteful statements made by MK Tzvika Foghel in relation to the pogrom that was committed by Jewish terrorists in Huwara. These were exceptionally grave statements and there is only a short distance between such statements and the next pogrom that targets innocent people."