In the month of February 2018 Staat van Beleg could list 766 human rights violations (and 171 reports/analyses). (see our archive)
Every month we are highlighting another aspect of the occupation of Palestine. This month we will focus on Israeli settler violence.
Settler attacks against Palestinians have been stepped up recently, including the storming of Palestinian towns and performing Talmudic rituals in Islamic shrines, spray painting racist slogans on cars and houses, destroying agricultural lands, uprooting olive trees and crops and physical attacks on Palestinians themselves.
Price tag policy, also known as “Mutual Responsibility” (Arvut Hadadit), is the name originally given to acts of vandalism by Jewish fundamentalist settlers, aimed at the Palestinian population, Christians, left-wing Israeli Jews, Arab–Israelis, and the Israeli security forces.
Nearly 700,000 Israelis live in illegal settlements across the occupied West Bank in violation of international law.
A day in Palestine
On the 12th of February we read about several cases of collective punishment due to alleged stone throwing incidents against Israeli forces and settlers. No injuries among Israeli’s were mentioned. On that same day we read about incidents of settler violence without any intervention or punishment from Israeli side. The 12th of February is a good example to showcase a day of settler violence and collective punishment in Palestine.
- Israeli police closed all entrances leading to Hizma town, east of occupied Jerusalem, severely restricting access to and from the Palestinian village.
- Tight restrictions were imposed on Nablus. Soldiers were deployed in large numbers in Huwara main road and erected a number of concrete blocks at the entrance to Beita town.
- Issawiya has been feeling the crunch of road closures for a while, disrupting life and movement of students to their schools.These restrictions are imposed on thousands of Palestinians on a daily basis for alleged stone throwing.
- Israeli fanatic settlers slashed the tires of several Palestinian-owned cars and spray-painted them with racist anti-Palestinian graffiti in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan.
- Israeli settlers grazed their cattle on agricultural land owned by Palestinians in Khilet Hamad, in the northern Jordan Valley, damaging the crops.
- A suspicious object exploded in the al-Sakout area severely injuring a cow owned by a local Palestinian farmer and led to the amputation of its leg.
- A group of 18 fanatic settlers broke into al-Aqsa Mosque from al-Maghareba Gate. An almost daily recurring ritual of provocative tours.
The world upside down
The 18th of February we read the following headline: “Israeli Colonizers Injure Young Man In Jerusalem; Court Punishes Him And Two Who Treated Him”. For a brief moment we thought settler violence would finally be punished, but this was not the case. Not the settlers would get their punishment but the injured Palestinian Maysoon al-Moghrabi and two young men who provided him the urgently needed first aid. The police summoned al-Moghrabi for interrogation and forced him under house arrest until his court session. The wounded young man is now facing charges that include “assaulting settlers”, although he was attacked by them while leaving the mosque. The two young men, Osama Halhouli and Mohammad Awad, who provided Mustafa with first aid, were transferred to Haifa under a five-day exclusion order denying them entry to Jerusalem, until a judge deliberates in their case.
We don’t see any (collective) punishment regarding these cases of settler violence. It is even worse, because violence and intimidation by settlers are protected by Israeli forces and the Israeli authorities.
In late December 2017, Yesh Din published its annual data sheet on law enforcement on Israeli civilians suspected of ideologically motivated crime against Palestinians in the West Bank. The figures presented in the data sheet are based on Yesh Din’s monitoring of over 1,200 investigations opened since 2005 by the ‘Judea and Samaria police’, the Israel police district in charge of the West Bank, following complaints filed by Palestinian victims of crime. The data shows that only 3% of investigations of ideologically motivated crime against Palestinians have resulted in a conviction. In addition, only 8.1% of the investigation files monitored by Yesh Din during this period (94 of 1163 concluded files) have led to indictments.
The PLO’s Committee for Prisoners and Freed Prisoners revealed that the Israeli authorities pay stipends to Jewish settlers indicted of crimes against Palestinians. Israel has complained frequently about payments to the families of Palestinian prisoners by the Palestinian Authority, claiming that they “encourage terrorism”. Ninety-nine per cent of Israeli Jews who were imprisoned after killing Palestinians were released and received legal and social support, as well as full protection by successive Israeli governments.
A month of settler violence
In our archive settler violence is archived under the category “Intimidation/Violence/Destruction/Legal issues”. This month we could file 216 cases in this category including 50 cases of settler violence. To give an idea of one month of settler violence we named all the cases of February by date. We have to mention that these are only the incidents that reached the media.
- A number of extremist Israeli settlers attacked the Hasan Bek Mosque in Jaffa, in Palestinian territories occupied in 1948.
- Israeli settlers spray-painted anti-Palestinian graffiti on walls in Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah.
- A Palestinian young man was injured after being shot by an Israeli settler northwest of the West Bank city of Ramallah.
- A horde of 150 Israeli settlers, escorted by Israeli military forces, broke into al-Masoudiya area and scoured archeological sites dating back to the Ottoman era.
- A group of extremist Israeli colonists attacked many Palestinian farmers on their own lands in Beit Ummar town, north of Hebron, in the southern part of the occupied West Bank.
- Israeli settlers attack Palestinians protesting in solidarity with child prisoners.
- Dozens of Israeli settlers stormed Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque—the third holiest site in Islam—via the Maghareba Gate.
- Israeli settlers attack Palestinian vehicles east of Bethlehem.
- 59 Jewish settlers storm al-Aqsa Mosque plazas.
- Many Palestinians have been injured after Israeli settlers hurled stones at their cars, near Huwwara military roadblock, south of Nablus and in another incident west of Ramallah.
- Settlers, from Bracha illegal colony, burnt tires and rolled them towards Palestinian homes in Burin village, south of Nablus.
- Israeli settlers try to kidnap two Palestinian children in Nablus.
- A Palestinian young man suffered slight wounds after being shot and injured by a settler’s gunfire while driving near Beit Ayoun junction north of al-Khalil.
- A Palestinian citizen, Imad Abu Ghazala suffered injuries when an Israeli settler in a speeding car hit him in the northern West Bank city of Nablus.
- Some 44 Jewish settlers escorted by 33 American soldiers on Thursday broke into al-Aqsa Mosque’s plazas amid protection by Israeli police.
- Palestinian officer injured, his car smashed by Israeli assailants.
- Dozens of colonialist settlers conducted a provocative tour in Jaber neighborhoods, and many other neighborhoods in the Old City, under heavy army accompaniment.
- The Israeli occupation forces stormed Kifl Haris town to the north of Salfit to secure the break-in of a group of settlers into Islamic shrines in the town.
- 26 Israeli settlers break into al-Aqsa Mosque.
- Israeli settlers spray-painted anti-Palestinian graffiti on walls and damaged Palestinian-owned cars after raiding Jerusalem’s neighborhood of al-Maghreba
- 18 settlers break into Aqsa Mosque under police escort.
- Israeli settlers damage Palestinian crops in Jordan Valley
- A 17-year-old Palestinian teen suffered different bruises and injuries all over his body after being subjected to a car-ramming attack by an Israeli jeep in Yabad town, south of Jenin.
- Dozens of illegal Israeli colonist settlers invaded Awarta and Jeet villages, east and west of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, damaged a few cars, and wrote racist graffiti.
- Jewish settlers escorted by soldiers stormed Wadi Qana area, northwest of Salfit, and embarked on demolishing agricultural structures belonging to Palestinian farmers.
- Israeli settlers from the illegal Bracha settlement stole nearly 50 sheep owned by Amir Qadous after assaulting him.
- Israeli colonists attacked a Palestinian man, Bassam Zubeidat (39) in Um al-Firan area, in the Jordan Valley, causing various cuts and bruises.
- Israeli settlers raid Nablus-area village in middle of the night, attack Palestinian home
- Israeli settlers attacked the Palestinian Mustafa al-Moghrabi when leaving the al-Aqsa mosque leaving him unconscious and in a very serious health condition.
- A horde of Jewish settlers sliced tires of three cars and spray-painted hostile graffiti on them calling for killing Arabs, in Yatma town, southeast of Nablus.
- The 16-year-old Palestinian boy Iyad Salama was aggressively beaten by Israeli settlers as he went for a walk with his friends on the mountains of Silat al-Dhuhr.
- Israeli Occupation Forces detained 14 Palestinian farmers for several hours after being attacked by a group of settlers east of al-Khalil/ Local sources said that IOF detained the farmers for planting olive seedlings in their lands threatened with confiscation for settlement expansion.
- Israeli settlers assaulted a Palestinian bus driver who works for the Israeli transportation company Egged, near Hebron.
- Extremist Israeli settlers, backed by Israeli special forces and rapid intervention troops, continued morning with ritual intrusions into the courtyards of al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
- Extremist settlers on Wednesday slaughtered some ten sheep and assaulted their owner in Eainabous town to the south of Nablus city in the northern West Bank.
- Israeli forces stormed the northern occupied West Bank village of Kifl Haris in order to escort a group of Jewish settlers to the village as they visited three religious sites in the area.
- Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian vehicles near the town of Silat al-Zohor, to the south of West Bank city Jenin, and shouted anti-Arab slogans.
- Two US congressmen escorted by Israeli settlers and policemen stormed Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque as part of the shift routinely carried out by Israeli settler hordes.
- A young Palestinian man, Mohamed Fares, was hit by a vehicle driven by an Israeli settler near the central West Bank city of Salfit. The young man was evacuated to the hospital while the settler fled the scene.
- A group of Israeli settlers brutally attacked the 23 year-old Ali Alawna south of Jenin.
- Israeli Settlers Attack Palestinian Homes South of Nablus.
- A horde of extremist Jewish settlers on Thursday evening uprooted and destroyed about 40 fruitful trees and a field of bean sprouts on Mount Subaih near Yatma village, south of Nablus.
- A Palestinian man was shot in his hand by Israeli forces after clashes that eruptes in Bourin town between Palestinans and Settlers who attacked the town.
- Israeli settlers have seized 120 dunams of land from Jalud village, south of Nablus.
- Clashes erupt as settler attempts to establish outpost near Tubas.
- Extremist Israeli groups Call for Storming Al-Aqsa over Purim Holiday.
- Israeli settlers fenced off Palestinian lands in Nablus’s southern town of Madama, paving the way for their confiscation.
- Violent clashes broke out at dawn Wednesday between Palestinian young men and Israeli soldiers in Nablus city after hundreds of Jewish settlers stormed the area of Joseph’s Tomb to perform rituals