Responding to Settler Violence in the West Bank

On October 22nd, IDF soldiers came to remove a caravan in an illegal outpost near Yitzhar in the occupied West Bank and were attacked by extremist Jewish settlers. The condemnation by Israeli officials and the Israeli public was immediate.

In response, Ziv Stahl, Head of the Research Department of NIF grantee Yesh Din: Volunteers for Human Rights, asks in an article in Ynet, “Why didn’t anybody cry out when Palestinian children from the village of Dir Amar near the West Bank Jewish settlement of Neria were repeatedly attacked with stones and clubs and needed to be hospitalized? Or when eight masked settlers violently attacked a Palestinian family in Burin and stole their agricultural equipment and olives? Or when 80-year-old Rabbi Moshe Yehudai was beaten up and needed medical treatment?”

Stahl argues that settler violence serves the right-wing Israeli government’s plans to deepen its hold on the West Bank. Stahl writes about how, historically and presently, settler violence has always been a part of the methodology of Israeli settlement expansion.

“The policies of Israel’s security services have for many years allowed settler terror by the hilltop youth to harm the Palestinians without hindrance. As a result, this terror enterprise has become confident enough to attack Jews as well. This deluded confidence must be eradicated.”

Yesh Din monitors settler violence in the West Bank on an ongoing basis and demonstrates how often settlers attack Palestinians and human rights activists and destroy property, while facing little or no resistance from the Israeli authorities. This kind of violence must be stopped, and it’s a vital part of the New Israel Fund’s fight to end the occupation.

October 2019