Israeli settler attacks against Palestinians sees a spike
RAMALLAH: According to B’Tselem, Israeli human rights group, approximately 94 violent attacks have taken place against the civilians in Palestine between December 21, 2020, to March 13, 2021.
A series of violent escalation against Palestinians has been sparked after the death of 16-year-old Ahuvia Sandak, from the Bayt Hayen settlement in the West Bank. Media reports claim that he was killed when the vehicle he was riding with four Israelis overturned while racing from Israeli police east of Ramallah. They were being pursued after undercover police officers saw them pelting rocks at Palestinian vehicles on December 21.
As per Israeli media, Sandak was from a group known as the “Hilltop Youths”, which is under the accusation of attacking Palestinians and their property. It was the latest in the series of increasing attacks on Palestinians by groups of roaming Israeli settlers in their occupied West Bank. The group accused Israeli law forces of failing to stop the attacks and said that the Israeli police routinely closed criminal complaints lodged by the victims without a single one being charged.
“Since Sandak’s killing, settlers’ gruesome attacks against Palestinians continues on daily basis – with an average of two or three attacks each day,” said Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors settlements in the Nablus governorate. He said the settlers have forced the blockade of main roads in the West Bank cities of Nablus, Jenin and Tulkarm.
Violent acts include “physical assaults against Palestinian farmers and shepherds who are at work on their lands, attacking Palestinian houses in the night and assaults on their properties in the day. Some Palestinians have given the settlers’ a warning that growing violence will lead to reciprocal attacks, specifically when it comes to particular brutal assaults or the burning of sacred properties.
One former Israeli official was of the opinion that it was important for Israeli police and the military to stop settler attacks before the situation gets out of control.