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US report: Israel army didn’t prevent settler violence against Palestinians

March 1, 2023 at 9:03 am

Tension rises between Jewish settlers under the protection of Israeli forces and Palestinians in the northern West Bank town of Huwara on February 27, 2023 [Issam Rimawi]

An American report published on Monday concluded that Israeli occupation forces often did not prevent violent attacks by illegal Israeli Jewish settlers against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

The annual State Department’s 2021 report on terrorism also found that Israeli occupation authorities almost never held violent settlers accountable for their attacks on the Palestinians.

Citing UN monitoring data and Israeli Shin Bet intelligence resources, the report said that there was a significant increase in the number of violent attacks, scale, severity and geographical scope in 2021.

“UN monitors documented 496 Israeli settler attacks against Palestinians, including 370 attacks that resulted in property damage, and 126 attacks that resulted in casualties, three of which were fatal,” the report said.

The nature of the settler attacks has changed through the years, the report added, noting that attacks in the past were sporadic and conducted by individuals or small groups of four to five settlers, but attacks in 2021 were conducted by big groups of several dozen settlers “indicating that attacks were likely pre-planned.”

READ: Major American Jewish organisations condemn Israel settlers’ pogrom attacks against Palestinians

Despite some efforts made by Israeli police to prevent the settler attacks, the report said, Israeli security personnel often did not prevent settler attacks and rarely detained or charged perpetrators of settler violence.

“Some Israeli NGOs allege IDF presence during some attacks and accuse the IDF of enabling a permissive environment by its lack of enforcement,” it added in reference to the army.

Israel occupation forces, settlers attack Palestinians in Hebron - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

Israel occupation forces, settlers attack Palestinians in Hebron – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]