From early 2020 to mid-2021, Israeli settlers carried out more than 450 attacks against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, without the IDF intervening in most cases to stop the violence, an Israeli NGO said on Sunday.
In a 40-page report on violence perpetrated by Israeli settlers in the West Bank, the anti-settlement NGO B’Tselem reports 451 attacks from early 2020 to September 2021, excluding those in the Jordan Valley.
According to B’Tselem data, the IDF failed to show up in 66% of attacks. In total, soldiers arrived for 183 attacks, including 170 cases where they did nothing or participated in attacks alongside settlers, the organization said. And in only 13 cases, the army “intervened with the settlers” in order to “prevent violence,” Dror Sadot, spokesperson for this NGO, told AFP.
Israel has occupied the West Bank since 1967. Today, more than 470,000 people live in more than 250 settlements deemed to violate international law and spread across this land populated by nearly three million Palestinians.
Colonization of the West Bank accelerated in recent years under President Donald Trump, whose country is Israel’s first ally and whose government declared the settlements not contrary to international law.
According to B’Tselem, an organization which has recently called Israeli policy towards Palestinians and Israeli Arabs “apartheid”, the settler attacks are in fact a “strategy” on the part of Israel to to seize “more Palestinian land”. “Rather than preventing violence against Palestinian farmers, the military has developed a system of ‘coordination’, which treats violence as an established phenomenon,” adds the NGO.
Contacted by AFP on Sunday, the IDF did not immediately respond to the allegations.
This is the number of cases, out of the 451 attacks, where the army “intervened with the settlers” in order to “prevent violence”, according to the spokesperson of the NGO B’Tselem, Dror Sadot.
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