Middle East Monitor / November 1, 2022
Almost 1,200 attacks were carried out against Palestinians by Israeli occupation forces and Jewish settlers across the occupied West Bank in October, a report by the Wall and Settlement Resistance Authority has revealed.
Most of the attacks took place in Hebron/Al-Khalil, followed by Nablus and then Ramallah. The nature of the attacks included violent land grabs, arrest campaigns, damage to agricultural land and city closures resulting in bodily harm.
“The number of attacks carried out by settlers reached a record number last month, with 254 attacks,” said Muayyad Shaaban, the head of the local anti-settlement organization. He added that the occupation authorities issued twelve orders linked to Palestinian-owned structures, ranging from demolition, orders to stop building work and evacuation notices to Palestinian families in Qalqiliya and Tubas.
The report pointed out that a total of 1,584 olive trees are known to have been damaged and uprooted by illegal Jewish settlers. Israeli settlers have been responsible for destroying thousands of olive trees in the occupied territories over the years, primarily around harvest season to maximize the damage and effect on Palestinian farmers.
Shaaban noted that settlers, particularly extreme right-wingers, are rarely held to account by the occupation authorities. Indeed, in most cases, the settlers who harass and attack Palestinians are accompanied and protected by Israeli soldiers.
Israeli human rights movement Peace Now estimates that about 666,000 Jewish settlers live in 145 large illegal Jewish settlements and 140 outposts in the occupied West Bank, including Jerusalem. International law considers the West Bank and Jerusalem to be “occupied territories”, and all settlements and settlers are illegal.
Speaking to the UN Security Council last week, the special coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, said that “a spike in fatal violence” is causing 2022 to be the deadliest year for Palestinians in the West Bank since 2005, the year when the UN started tracking fatalities. Over the past month, said Wennesland, Israeli security forces killed 32 Palestinians – including six children – and injured 311 during demonstrations, clashes, attacks and search-and-arrest operations. At least 125 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli raids and attacks in the West Bank and East Jerusalem this year alone.