B’Tselem / September 18, 2023
For decades, Israel has employed a slew of measures designed to make life in dozens of Palestinian communities throughout the West Bank miserable. This is part of an attempt to force residents of these communities to uproot themselves, seemingly of their own accord. Once that is achieved, the state can realize its goal of taking over the land. To advance this objective, Israel forbids members of these communities from building homes, agricultural structures or public buildings. It does not allow them to connect to the water and power grids or build roads, and when they do, as they have no other choice, Israel threatens demolition, often delivering on these threats.
Settler violence is another tool Israel employs to further torment Palestinians living in these communities. Such attacks have grown significantly worse under the current government, turning life in some places into an unending nightmare and denying residents any possibility of living with even minimal dignity. The violence has robbed Palestinian residents of their ability to continue earning a living. It has terrorized them to the point of fearing for their lives and made them internalize the understanding that there is no one to protect them.
This reality has left these communities with no other choice, and several of them have uprooted themselves, leaving hearth and home for safer places. Dozens of communities scattered throughout the West Bank live in similar conditions. If Israel continues this policy, their residents may also be displaced, freeing Israel to achieve its goal and take over their land.