Shin Bet chief warns of settler violence

Nov. 3, 2008 at 8:01 AM

JERUSALEM, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- A Shin Bet leader says extremist Jewish settlers are willing to use "live weapons" against other Israelis to halt the Palestinian peace process.

Shin Bet security service chief Yuval Diskin, meeting Sunday with the Israeli Cabinet, didn't specifically warn of the danger of assassination attempts against political leaders, but the timing of his warning came days before the anniversary of the slaying of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin by a right-wing extremist, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.

Diskin said a Shin Bet investigation of the West Bank settler movement has "found a very high willingness among this public to use violence -- not just stones, but live weapons -- in order to prevent or halt a diplomatic process.

"They (the settlers) don't think like us. Their thought is messianic, mystic, satanic and irrational."

The Cabinet meeting concluded with the ministers voting to end all government support, both direct and indirect, for illegal settler outposts. The Yesha Council of settlements, however, called the decision "scandalous and demagogic," insisting there is "no connection" between the outposts and extremist violence, Haaretz reported.

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