The Palestinian Center For Human Rights (PCRH): Ref: 70/2023 – Date: 21 June 2023, Time: 19:30 GMT: The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) condemns in the strongest terms today’s widescale violence and retaliatory acts conducted by hundreds of settlers under the protection of the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) in Turmus ‘Ayya village in northern Ramallah, north of the West Bank. Setters’ violence has killed a Palestinian and injured 11 others, some in serious condition, in addition to setting dozens of houses, facilities, and vehicles ablaze.
Those attacks were triggered by the Israeli ministers’ incitement policy that is persistent due to the impunity policy and protection provided for settlers’ racist violence that is backed by Israel’s top military and political echelons.
According to initial information collected by PCHR’s fieldworker, at approximately 13:58 on Wednesday, dozens of armed and masked settlers from the “Shilo” settlement, which is established in eastern Ramallah, broke into Turmus ‘Ayya village. The settlers immediately carried out retaliatory violence, indiscriminately opened fire at Palestinians and their houses, and set many vehicles parked on the village’s streets ablaze.
Meanwhile, villagers gathered and tried to confront the settlers with stones, so the latter directly opened fire at them and burned several residential houses. Afterward, violent clashes broke out on the village’s streets, and heavy smoke spread after several vehicles and houses were burnt.
More settlers then arrived in the village and raided most of the residential houses to the right side of the village’s main entrance, forcing the residents out and setting the houses and their gardens ablaze. Later, large Israeli forces moved into the village amid heavy firing of bullets and tear gas canisters at the protestors to protect the Israeli settlers while conducting their attacks.
Head of Turmus ‘Ayya Village Council, Lafi Adeeb Shalabi, said to PCHR’s fieldworker that the initial results of settlers’ attacks indicated that about 30 houses were completely burnt in addition to 60 vehicles.
At around 16:00, as confrontations heightened, IOF secured the settlers’ withdrawal to the main entrance to the Town (Bypass Road 60). Meanwhile, the protestors chased them when IOF opened fire at them, wounding 12 Palestinians with live bullets.
The wounded were taken to a local hospital in the village, where it turned out that several serious injuries were referred to the Palestine Medical Complex, including ‘Omar Hisham ‘Abdullah Jbara (25), who was shot with a live bullet in the chest. The doctors tried to save his life but in vain, as his death was pronounced at around 16:22.
After the settlers withdrew from Turmusaya, many settlers headed to Sinjil village, northeast of Ramallah, and carried out attacks amidst confrontations between the Palestinians and IOF.
Yesterday in evening, following the shooting that killed 4 settlers and injured 4 others near Eli settlement between Nablus and Ramallah, dozens of settlers carried out several attacks across Nablus’s villages, set a vehicle ablaze, and damaged two other vehicles, while 2 Palestinians, including a child, were injured after being shot by IOF who intervened to protect the settlers.
PCHR denounces settler violence and is alarmed that such retaliatory attacks would become the norm since the Israeli ministers and officials encourage committing massacres against Palestinians without any deterrence and if Israel is continuously not held accountable for its violations and practices, and international law is not applied.
PCHR affirms that IOF is responsible for this systematic violence supported by a decision from Israel’s top political echelons.
PCHR calls upon the international community and UN bodies to assume their legal and moral responsibilities, to act effectively to end IOF and settlers’ crimes against Palestinians, and to provide protection for Palestinians.