UN experts warn of uptick settler violence against Palestinians
IslamNews – Violence attributed to Israeli settlers against Palestinians living in the West Bank has risen in recent months, amid “an atmosphere of impunity”, UN-appointed independent rights experts said on Wednesday.
Israel’s stated plans for annexation would extend sovereignty over most of the Jordan Valley and all of the more than 235 illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank. This would amount to approximately 30 percent of the West Bank. The annexation of this territory was endorsed by the American Peace to Prosperity Plan, released in late January 2020.
Besides, this will also intensify human rights violations committed during five decades of Israeli occupation, which include settler violence, confiscation, home demolitions, and excessive torture and force.
Moreover, in the first three months of 2021, the experts documented 210 incidents of violence, including one Palestinian death at the hands of Israeli settlers — acts of violence they said were aimed at making daily life “untenable” for Palestinians.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs recorded 771 incidents of settler violence in 2020, which injured 133 Palestinians and damaged 184 vehicles and 9,646 trees. Most of the incidents were motivated and happened in Jerusalem, Hebron Nablus and Ramallah, as the experts said.
Furthermore, “They primarily target the livelihoods of rural Palestinians, vandalizing livestock, agricultural lands, trees and homes,” they said, adding the attacks were also aimed at terrorizing citizens.
The UN experts described one incident last month in southern Hebron during which a Palestinian family — parents and eight children — were attacked by 10 Israeli settlers, some of whom were reportedly armed.
Captured by Israel in the Six-Day War of 1967, the Palestinians envision the West Bank as part of a future independent state that more than 440,000 Israeli settlers live in the West Bank.
“We are deeply worried by the atmosphere of impunity in which these attacks are taking place,” the experts said, adding that the Israeli military is often present but fails to take steps to protect the Palestinians. “This amounts to a discriminatory two-tier approach to military protection and policing in the West Bank.”
The experts also called on Israel as an occupying power to protect the Palestinians and for the international community to “impose meaningful costs” on Israel for its long occupation of the Palestinian territories.
Source: Press News Agency