An international human rights foundation has confirmed that Palestinian children have become “a target of attack from groups of extremist Jewish settlers”.
In a report entitled ‘Under attack: Settler violence against Palestinian children in the occupied territories’, the Palestinians branch of the Global Movement for the Defence of Children documented 38 separate incidences of settler violence against Palestinian children in the last two years. These brutal attacks have resulted in the deaths of three children while 42 others have been injured.
The report states that these attacks, which are usually perpetrated by groups of settlers, “are characterised by intimidation, verbal harassment, physical assault and the destruction of property”. It mentioned that in 13 incidences, settlers opened fire on children resulting in the deaths of three and the injury of ten others. In additions, there were 15 incidences of intimidation and physical assault and 9 incidences where children were pelted with stones. Almost all incidences were accompanied by verbal insults.
The report confirmed that in eight instances, “soldiers had been implicated in the attack; either by participating in the assault, overlooking what was happening or punishing the victims rather than the aggressors.”
21 incidences of violence have occurred either in the city of Hebron (the southern West Bank) or surrounding areas. Similarly, 7 separate incidences occurred near Nablus (the northern West Bank) near to the settlements of Yitzhar and Bracha. The Palestinians branch of the Global Movement for the Defence of Children accused the Israeli occupation of “not applying the law or punishing settlers for their actions which has created a climate in which settlers enjoy immunity while fear controls the lives of Palestinians”.
The report concludes that “the continued expansion of settlements and the increase in the number of settlers in the occupied territories has had a significant impact on the security of the Palestinian population, particularly children whose lives are increasingly endangered as a result of the deliberate attacks launched by extremist settlers.”
Source: Quds Press