Israeli human rights organizations called on the Israeli government to take the steps necessary to protect the Palestinians in case of an escalation in violence by settlers during and after disengagement.

The organizations – B’Tselem, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, HaMoked: Center for the Defense of the Individual, Yesh Din and Rabbis for Human Rights – wrote last week to Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz and Israeli Attorney General Menachem Mazuz, demanding that law enforcement make advance preparations to protect Palestinians living near settlements known to contain violent individuals, and particularly in those areas where there has been rioting in the past.

“Some of the violence will be spontaneous,” the letter states, “but there is concern that we will witness organized attacks intended to stop the disengagement process.” 

The organizations believe that the attacks may endanger dozens of Palestinian lives.

The organizations have warned for years about the lack of law enforcement towards settlers in the West Bank, but no improvement has occurred.

The letter included lists of attacks carried out by the settlers against Palestinians and their properties in recent months.

The letter demanded that the army enforce law and order in order to protect the Palestinians in Israeli-controlled areas. It said the army should deploy soldiers in areas where the settlers carry out repeated attacks and bar them from entering these areas.

The letter also demanded the army control, inspect and monitor the weapons held by settlers in the Palestinian-occupied territories.