The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) has called on Israel to investigate the attacks on Palestinians by Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, Al-Watan Voice has reported.
UNOCHA said on Wednesday that settlers carried out at least six attacks on 22 and 23 November that resulted in casualties among Palestinians in the city. Israeli forces in the vicinity at the time, the UN pointed out, did not make any attempt to stop the attacks or protect the Palestinians.
On one occasion, explained UNOCHA, a group of about 50 settlers attacked eight members of a Palestinian family with batons and pepper spray in Wadi Al-Hussein neighbourhood. One Palestinian had an arm broken, another was injured in the head and the other six suffered from various wounds that needed hospital treatment. In another incident at the same place, a group of adult settlers attacked a nine-year-old Palestinian boy and sprayed pepper powder at him in front of the Israeli soldiers, who did not intervene to protect him.
On 23 November, the UNOCHA said that a number of settlers threw stones and bottles at a house in Tel Rumeida neighbourhood, injuring an infant after one of the stones smashed a window and hit the infant in his head. The family could not evacuate the child immediately as the attack on their house continued for 20 minutes. When a group of six Palestinians were eventually able to take the boy to an ambulance waiting at Israeli checkpoint 56, a group of settlers used pepper sprays against them.
According to Al-Wattan Voice, UNOCHA reiterated that the Israeli settlers’ attacks in area H2 in Hebron have increased sharply since 31 January, when Israel refused to accept the renewal of the mission of the Temporary International Task Force.
UNOCHA stressed that Israel, as the occupying power, has a legal obligation to guarantee the safety of the Palestinians and protect them. When there are such attacks, it must ensure that the perpetrators are prosecuted.