Israeli forces watched, joined attacks against Palestinians

Israeli forces have watched, joined settlers attacking Palestinians: NGO
2 min read
14 November, 2021
451 settler attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank were documented by the B'tselem rights group since early last year.
Israel rejects claims that its treatment of the Palestinians amounts to apartheid [Getty]

An Israeli rights group said Sunday that in 170 incidents of Jewish settler violence against Palestinians, Israeli forces did not intervene to protect Palestinians and at times actively joined the attacks.

In the report, the B'tselem rights group said it documented a total of 451 settler attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank since early last year.

"Settler attacks against Palestinians are a strategy employed by the Israeli apartheid regime, which seeks to advance and complete its misappropriation of more and more Palestinian land," it said.

Israel, which has occupied the West Bank since 1967, rejects claims that its treatment of the Palestinians amounts to apartheid.

According to B'tselem, in 170 incidents of settler violence the army stood by or assisted the attackers.

Live Story

As a result, it said, five Palestinians were killed and 22 arrested.

Israel's security forces did not immediately respond to questions regarding B'tselem's latest allegations.

B'tselem spokeswoman Dror Sadot said the group did not contact security forces because "we understood they do nothing about our accusations".

According to the group, in five test cases across the West Bank, violent settlers took over more than 2,800 hectares of land.

As an example, the group cited the Ma'on Farm, erected illegally in the southern West Bank but together with a sub-outpost now controls some 264 hectares, including roads and pasture used by the area's Palestinian residents.

Live Story

Shepherd Jummah Ribii, 48, of the Palestinian community Al-Tuwani, told B'tselem that assaults by settlers were pushing him away from farming that had sustained his family.

He said settlers attacked him severely in 2018. "They broke my leg, and I had to spend two weeks in hospital and continue treatment at home," B'tselem quoted him as saying.

"I had to sell most of our sheep to cover the cost of treatment."

Nearly half a million Israelis have moved to West Bank settlements that most of the international community regard as illegal.

Some settler outposts, including the Ma'on Farm, are also illegal under Israeli law, however, the government has been slow or unwilling to evacuate them.