Netanyahu and Ben Gvir
Netanyahu and Ben GvirOlivier Fitoussi/Flash 90

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Office on Friday issued a statement in the English language clarifying National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir’s comments in an interview with Channel 12 News, which resulted in condemnation from the United States.

Ben Gvir said in the interview, "My right, and my wife’s and my children’s right, to get around on the roads in Judea and Samaria is more important than the right to movement for Arabs."

"My right to life comes before their right to movement,” he added.

A State Department spokesperson condemned the comments and said, “We strongly condemn Minister Ben-Gvir’s inflammatory comments on the freedom of movement of Palestinian residents of the West Bank.”

“We condemn all racist rhetoric; as such messages are particularly damaging when amplified by those in leadership positions and are incongruent with advancing respect for human rights for all,” the spokesperson added.

The Prime Minister’s Office said on Friday, “Israel allows maximum freedom of movement in Judea and Samaria for both Israelis and Palestinians.”

“Unfortunately, Palestinian terrorists take advantage of this freedom of movement to murder Israeli women, children and families by ambushing them at certain points on different routes.”

“Thirty-four civilians have been murdered by Palestinian terrorists in 2023, many of them while driving home. The most recent incident occurred when Bat-Sheva Nagari was murdered on route 60 in Judea in front of her 6-year-old daughter,” the statement noted.

“In order to prevent these heinous murders, Israel's security forces have implemented special security measures in these areas. This is what Minister Ben Gvir meant when he said ‘'the right to life precedes freedom of movement,’" said Netanyahu’s office.

“Israel will continue its policy of maintaining security while affording freedom of movement for both Israelis and Palestinians,” the statement concluded.

(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)