Israeli soldiers are joining colonialist settlers in attacks on a Palestinian village in the occupied West Bank, according to human rights NGOĀ BāTselem.
The village of āUrif, which is located near Nablus, lies in close proximity to the notorious settlement of Yitzhar, established in 1983.
All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law, and described by international human rights groups as part of an inherently discriminatory regime.
According to BāTselem, the Palestinian residents of āUrif āhave been suffering for years from repeated attacks by settlersā, with most attacks taking place āin farmland close to the village water tower, which is situated some 500 metres from its easternmost homesā.
In recent months, moreover, the Israeli human rights group āhas documented three attacks by settlers in the area, some of which included the active participation of soldiersā.
In March, āsettlers assaulted residents of the villageā, while the Israeli occupation forces āwho accompanied them shot and killed one resident and injured a boy aged 14ā. In April, settlers cut down 57 trees on āUrifās land and vandalized vehicles.
In June, āsettlers injured a shepherd and assaulted other residents, while soldiers joined in the attack, injuring another resident,ā BāTselem added.
Since then, the NGO continued, there have been four more documented incidents of settlers and soldiers assaulting āUrif residents, torching fruit trees and vandalizing cars.
These repeated attacks āare intended to usurp ever-increasing areas of Palestinian land and to annex the land de facto to the settlementsā, said BāTselem, with the result that Palestinians ālose not only their land but also their livelihood.ā
In addition, the conduct of Israeli forces, āproviding guarding services for the assailants and actively participating in attacksā, part of what BāTselem describes as a āviolent routineā, sends Palestinians āa message of complete disregard for their lives, safety and property.ā
BāTselem added, according to Days of Palestine, that the violence experienced by Palestinians in āUrif, and other communities, āis part of an integrated policy which sees the state, through the military and the settlers ā engaging in continued efforts, over time, to dispossess as many Palestinians as possible, driving them to leave their land āvoluntarilyā so that it can be seized.ā
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