Ghassan Daghlis, head of village affairs in the West Bank district of Nablus has confirmed there were 320 attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinians and their property throughout 2009. He said the past year which witnessed the highest number of attacks since records began was particularly difficult for farmers and civilians.
Daghlis explained the attacks took the form of uprooting of trees, expansion of settlements, stoning of farmers and shooting at them. Scores of Palestinians were injured during these attacks. He recalled there were a number of religious edicts issued by rabbis which cleared the way for the attacks.
Daghlis added that residents in areas near the settlements are now observing a curfew to avoid attacks by settlers. While he hoped the year 2010 would bring an end the attacks the Palestinian official said there were no signs this would happen because there is a firm agreement between Prime Minister Netanyaho and the right wing extremists. At present 11 members of the Knesset (Israeli parliament) reside in West Bank settlements, two of them are ministers. The settlers enjoy legal protection and despite several international resolutions calling for the dismantlement of the settlements the realities on the ground indicate the opposite.