The Palestine Liberation Organization released a report Sunday regarding an upswing in Israeli settler attacks against Palestinians in the West Bank in recent weeks. The settler attacks are in addition to the Israeli military onslaught on the civilian population in Gaza, and have occurred mainly in the West Bank.
As has been the case for years, the most violent Israeli settlers are in Hebron in the southern West Bank. In the center of the city, Israeli settlers are known for breaking into Palestinian homes and terrorizing families, attacking children in the streets and throwing empty bottles, stones and eggs at them.
Kiryat Arba Settlement is illegal under international law, as are all Israeli settlements. It is particularly problematic as it is southeast of Hebron and now home to some of the most violent of the settlers. Thirty-four year old Najah Abdel Hai Abu Asaivan, a local Palestinian resident, suffered a severe beating at the hands of Israelis settling in Hebron near her home recently. Her body is covered in bruises and contusions, as reported by medical sources.
Israeli settlers in southern Bethlehem severely beat 28 year old Mohammed Abdel Fattah Ismail, leading to various injuries. He was immediately hospitalized.
The oldest of the settlements is in the northern West Bank Nablus area, settled by Israelis in the late 1970s in contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which forbids the settlement of civilian populations onto militarily-occupied land. There, settlers have cut 45 Palestinian olive trees in the past two weeks in the district’s Salem Village. Over 500,000 Palestinian olive trees have been uprooted by Israeli soldiers and settlers over the last five years — olive trees which serve as many Palestinians’ only source of income.
Settlers from Beit Hadassah in the city center severely beat 60 year old Abdel Mousa Sidr. The Israelis broke the elderly Palestinian’s right hand, and covered his upper body in contusions and bruises. He was rushed to the hospital.
Israeli settlers have also destroyed Palestinian property, according to the report, burning three cars in Nablus belonging to Khalaf Mohammed Abu Shehada, Ismail Abdul Karim Abu Shehada, and Ahmed Abu Khalaf Shahadah.
Israeli forces have been reported to aid the settlers in their expansion onto further Palestinian land, in one case by confiscating 895 dunams of Palestinians land in Qalqilia for the Wall and settlement expansion. They also confiscated 600 dunams of land behind the Wall in southern Tulkarem.
Israeli military aircraft have fired gas bombs and flash grenades at parts of the valley Tubas, burning fields of cultivated wheat and barley,.
The occupation forces bulldozers uprooted about 30 olive trees fruitful territory Sneria village, south of Qalqilya, apparently with the aim of building a new settlement there.
Thirty Israeli settlements have been built in the Hebron District alone, consisting of approximately 20,000 settlers and Israeli soldiers. A street detour to provide for the ‘safety’ of these illegal settlers has involved the confiscation of 13,000 dunams of the most fertile land. For the Wall construction, the Israeli forces have confiscated 5,000 dunams thus far, and promised to confiscate thousands more dunams, and demolished 30 homes. Also, setters from Kiryat Ramat in the center of Hebron burned 15 olive and almond trees.