Jewish settlers attack activists helping plant olive trees in occupied West Bank

Olive harvests have become a flashpoint of tensions as hardline Israeli settler groups seek to prevent Palestinians accessing their crops (AFP)

The National  /  January 21, 2022

The group were helping local Palestinians plant olive trees when they were assaulted by masked men armed with bats and rocks.

Several Jewish Israeli activists were wounded on Friday in an attack allegedly carried out by Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank.

Footage of the attack showed masked men with clubs, sticks and rocks beating the activists and setting a car alight in Burin, near Nablus in the northern West Bank.

Local media reported that four members of Rabbis for Human Rights and the Rabbis for Human Rights, there to help local Palestinians to plant olive trees, were transferred to hospital in Israel.

Olive trees in the West Bank have become a flashpoint of tension as some settler groups seek to violently prevent Palestinians from accessing their fields or harvesting crops.

Trees have been uprooted, set on fire and damaged in a bid to destroy livelihoods and local Palestinians’ link to the area.

“Activists from RHR and the Harvest Coalition have been standing in solidarity with Palestinian farmers, assisting them and being a voice for peace, and a vision of Judaism that values human rights for 20 years,” said Avi Dabush, executive director of Rabbis for Human Rights.

“Their [the settler’s] violence [is] directed first of all at Palestinians and to anyone who refuses to accept their version of messianic Jewish superiority that they seek to impose,” he added.

Mr Dabush called on the government to “bring these terrorists to justice”.