Four Palestinians were murdered on a single day in May by Israeli soldiers who coordinated attacks with Israeli settlers, according to an investigation by theIntercept.
The joint attacks were carried out on 14 May, and left four Palestinians dead including Nidal Safidi, a 30-year-old from the village of Urif, based south of Nablus. He was shot by four bullets – one to the chest and one in the abdomen – and died of his wounds.
Mazen Shehadeh, head of the Urif village council, described to the Intercept how a large number of armed settlers, protected by the occupation forces, attacked and fired bullets towards the citizens of Urif, including at a school.
"The settlers uprooted almost 60 fig and olive trees," he said. Residents of the village were called through the mosque minarets to urgently help put out fires ignited by settlers in the village's agricultural lands.
"Then they attacked the school with stones and broke its solar panels … While the settlers did all of that, the soldiers covered for them by gunfire," Shehadeh continued.
The soldiers led, gave orders, everything looked coordinated. The soldiers pointed for the settlers, where to go, where to uproot, and then they shot at anybody who tried to get close. After a few minutes, residents came to protect the village.
Settlers and soldiers also conducted similar attacks in the village of Asira Al-Qibliya, in Nablus, another in Iskaka in the northern occupied West Bank and a third in the village Al Reihiya, in South Mount Hebron.
Israeli settlements are home to around 700,000 Jewish settlers across the occupied West Bank. The settlements (and the settlers) are illegal under international law and have been described by international rights groups as "major obstacles to peace", given that they are built on stolen Palestinian land.