Settler Violence Against Palestinians Increases in the West Bank:

June 23, 2009
Teaching the kids early how to be a violent extremist...
Teaching the kids early how to be a violent extremist…

There are around 500,000 Israeli settlers living in illegal settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Although these settlements are illegal under international law, construction on the settlements has continued; gradually stealing more and more land from the Palestinians. Settlement construction has become one of the main obstacles to the peace process.

U.S. President Obama has recently made it clear in his speeches and through his envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, to the Israeli government that settlement expansion needs to stop. In addition to that, settler outposts, which are unsanctioned even by the Israeli government, must be dismantled.

Israeli PM Netanyahu has continually ignored Obama’s demands to freeze settlement construction, saying that ‘natural growth’ in settlements must be allowed to continue.

When Netanyahu has attempted to dismantle the settler outposts in the past, he has been unsuccessful. Most settlers in the West Bank are right-wing, but the settlers who live in the outposts are notoriously extreme.

As soon as Obama made it clear that the outposts had to be dismantled, the settlers responded by building as many outposts as they could before the Israeli government called on them to stop. They named these “Obama Outposts.”

According to Michael Ben Ari, a member of the pro-settler National Union party, “The Zionist vision of settling the Land of Israel is stronger than any president or government. We survived Pharaoh, and we’ll survive Obama as well.”

In addition to this unexpected effect from Obama’s call for a settlement freeze and dismantling of outposts, the settlers in the West Bank have increased their violent attacks on Palestinians living near settlements.

These settler attacks, which began increasing in June, include arson, beatings, destruction of farmland and other property, as well as releasing wild boars on Palestinians and their farmland.

Violent Settler Activity in the Last Month:

5-21-09: Nablus- Israeli settlers uproot olive trees, protected by the Israeli military who declared the Palestinian agricultural area a closed military zone.

5-22-09: Nablus- Israeli settlers from the Yitzhar settlement set fire to bales of harvested barley in a Palestinian field, destroying the entire crop.

5-22-09: Hebron- A group of Israeli settlers and a unit of Israeli soldiers attack Palestinian youths as they try to remove a tent that was set up illegally by the settlers.

5-25-09: Salfit- Israeli settlers release herd of wild boars into Palestinian farmlands, damaging wheat and barley fields as well as fruit trees.

5-26-09: Hebron- More than 20 Israeli settlers attacked four Palestinian shepherds with clubs while they were herding sheep on their land near the settlements of Ma’on and Beit Yatir.

5-26-09: Nablus- An Israeli settler assaulted a 21-year old Palestinian woman near the Za’atara checkpoint south of Nablus.

5-30-09: Bethlehem- Israeli police seized activists and Palestinians who were attacked by settlers near the settlement, Bat Ayn.

6-01-09: Nablus- Israeli settlers assaulted a group of Palestinians, injuring six, which the settlers say is in response to the Israeli government’s dismantling of unsanctioned settler outposts.

6-01-09: Nablus- Israeli settlers set fire to Palestinian-owned fields of wheat, barley, and olive trees in the villages of Burin, Asira, Surra, and Tell south of Nablus.

6-02-09: Nablus- Israeli settlers set fire to more than 50,000 square meters of Palestinian-owned farmland south of Nablus.

6-03-09: Salfit- Israeli settlers from the nearby settlement of Ariel send wild boars to attack Palestinians.

6-03-09: Bethlehem- Israeli settlers throw stones, blockade roads, and set fire to Palestinian farmland in the fourth straight day of violence they say is in reaction to their government’s decision to dismantle outposts.

6-11-09: Salfit- Israeli settlers organized a wild boar attack on a Palestinian agricultural area near Salfit that destroyed dozens of fruit trees and grape crops.

6-13-09: Hebron- Israeli settlers and military forces assault Palestinian farmers and foreign solidarity activists as they tried to enter illegally confiscated lands near the Beit ‘Ein settlement.

6-15-09: Nablus- Dozens of Israeli settlers set fire to more than 25,000 square meters of wheat fields owned by Palestinians.

6-18-09: Hebron- Three Israeli settlers attack a man from Hebron outside the Kiryat Arba settlement while the settlement guards watched.

6-21-09: Hebron- Israeli settlers from the Susia settlement set fire to a tent, used as a meeting hall, while three Palestinians were inside.

6-21-09: Salfit- Israeli settlers from the northern West Bank released a herd of wild boars to attack Palestinian neighborhoods and farmland.

6-22-09: Hebron- Israeli settlers uproot more than 150 olive and grape trees from Palestinian land near the settlement, Bat Ayin; the settlers also set fires in the same area.

**For a photostory by Palestine Monitor on the most obnoxious and violent settlers of all, the settlers living in the H2 area of Hebron, click here:


One comment

  1. Powerful! Really dope Renee, keep it up. A shining example of ” The pen is mightier then the Sword”!

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