The US State Department acknowledged that “violence in the West Bank this year is at levels not seen since the Second Intifada, and in recent weeks, an alarming surge in violent acts has driven this unwelcome record even higher,” adding, “This includes unprecedented levels of violence by Israeli extremist settlers targeting Palestinians and their property, displacing entire communities, as well as violence by Palestinian extremist militants against Israeli civilians.”
The remarks were made by the State Department spokesman Matthew Miller in a press briefing yesterday.
Miller also noted: “There was a surge in violence leading up to October 7th. There has been a significant increase from that already heightened level of violence since October 7th.”
“The first thing that we have done, which is to impress upon the Government of Israel the conclusion of the United States that they need to do more to take action to stop extremist settler violence and to hold accountable extremist settlers who commit acts of violence. We have raised that in a number of conversations with the Government of Israel. The White House has made public that the President has raised that directly with Prime Minister Netanyahu in their conversations. The Secretary has raised it as recently as last Thursday when we were in Israel.”
“In all those conversations we made clear that while we expected the Government of Israel to take action, the United States was ready and willing to take our own action if we didn’t see them take actions of their own,” said Miller.
Settlers have repeatedly launched widespread attacks against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, including the village of Turmus Ayya in the central West Bank, most of whose population hold dual American citizenship.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) previously said that settler attacks resulted in the deaths of 29 people this year.
UN data indicates that daily settler attacks have more than doubled since the Israeli occupation began its aggression against the Gaza Strip on 7 October.