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Amnesty: ‘Impunity reigns for perpetrators of settler violence’

March 8, 2023 at 10:58 am

Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Director Heba Morayef on October 12, 2018 in Beirut, Lebanon [Muhammad Behlok/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images]

Commenting on the violent settler attack on the occupied West Bank village of Huwara last week, Amnesty International has said that “impunity reigns for perpetrators of settler violence” against Palestinians.

“Under Israel’s apartheid system, impunity reigns,” Amnesty International’s Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Heba Morayef, said.

“Despite the intensity and scale of Sunday’s attacks, which resulted in the killing of one Palestinian and the wounding of nearly 400, and despite a rare show of international condemnation of settler violence, Israeli police yesterday released six suspects who were arrested in connection with the attacks,” Morayef said. “Meanwhile two others have been issued with administrative detention orders, which violate international law.”

“Israeli authorities have long enabled and incited settler attacks against Palestinians, and in some cases, soldiers have directly participated,” she continued, stressing that “state-backed settler violence is endemic in the occupied West Bank.”

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Morayef added: “Towns and villages like Huwara, which was the epicentre of Sunday’sattacks, are frequently targeted as they are surrounded by illegal settlements.”

On the night of Sunday 26 February, hundreds of state-backed Israeli settlers carried out a number of attacks against Palestinians in the Nablus Governorate in the occupied West Bank, including in the town of Huwara, and in nearby villages Burin, Assira Al-Qibliya, Beit Furik, Za’tara and Beita.

Settlers torched dozens of Palestinian cars, homes and orchards and physically assaulted Palestinians, including with metal bars and rocks. Israeli officials, including ministers and members of the Knesset, called for Huwara to be “wiped out”.