Settlers escalate their terror in WB , taking advantage of the aggression on Gaza

Madeeha Araj

2023 / 11 / 6

By: Madeeha Al-A’raj
The national Bureau for Defending the Land and Resisting Settlements stated in its latest weekly report , thatover the past few weeks of the Israeli aggressive war on Gaza, Israeli settler militias expand their terrorist attacks acts in all governorates of the West Bank, utilizing advantage of this barbaric war, and the preoccupation of public opinion on its consequences and developments. Settlers terrorism, especially during the olive harvest season, spreads between villages in the Palestinian countryside, increasing the suffering of the Palestinians, who are paying heavy prices as a result of that including their property and their lives as well as their children’s life.
The last of these terrorist attacks occurred on Saturday of last week, when a settler ‘actually a soldier who was on leave’ shot and killed Bilal Saleh, 40 as he and his children went out to pick olives on his land in the Al-Sawiya village, south of Nablus. This coincided on the same day and area of pursuing of citizens, who were picking olives in their fields in the villages of Qaryiot, Jalud, and Qusra, assaulting them, and expelling them from their lands after a number of them miraculously escaped death.
The more striking here is that as soon as the settlers finished their sabbath, they went out in groups in the dark of the night on a mission to sabotage the olive fields. In broad daylight, they attack citizens and cause injuries among them. According to accounts from some Israeli media outlets ‘Haaretz’ and accounts of residents as well, they were seen cutting down olive trees in both Qabalan and Talfit villages, while occupation army soldiers confiscate a monitoring camera nearQusra, where a number of settlers with their weapons danced and sang near houses in the Jaloudvillage.

TheIsraeli journalist and left-wing activist, Amira Hass said ‘Saturdays is no longer sacred for the settlers, not only in those villages located to the south and southeast of the city of Nablus, but also in various areas of the Hebron Governorate. On the same Saturday morning, settlers stormed a house in the village of Al-Qawawis and terrorized women and children, who fled their village for fear of their lives from the terror of those settlers.
Fate of the residents of the village of Jana in MasaferYatta was not better, in the afternoon hours, herds of settlers, accompanied by occupation army soldiers, stormed the village and attacked families living in an enclave between the “Mtzdot Yehuda” checkpoint and the Green Line. They confiscated their phones and broke the hand of a 16years old girl. They arrested 3 citizens after assaulting them and then handed them to over to the occupation army soldiers.
Late Saturday night was also a theater of settler terror in the Susya village as they stormed the village and gave the people 24 hours to leave their homes. The situation was no different in Kafr Tuba, as armed settlers stormed the homes of citizens in the village and destroyed their contents and furniture, and looted sheep of an old woman from the village, as well as gas cylinders, and other home furniture.
On that black Saturday, residents of Zanotta, Hebron, packed their belongings and left the caves and homes in which they lived after the harassment, threats, and prevention of people from accessing pastures reached their peak at the hands of residents of settlement outposts and so-called pastoral farms in the area. Hundreds of people living in the area are exposed to this repellent violence. Militia thugs from the “Hill Youth” and “Pay the Price” block roads, sabotage water tanks,and prevent them access to residents.
They storm villages and destroyedsome areas using small, fast tractors and cars at night, threatening citizens and explicitly asking them to leave, after physically assaulting them. Theydetained some of them and sometimes and smashed solar panels and agricultural facilities again and again, about 450 citizens, making up 36 families, who lived in the placeleft the village, and only 3 families remained in the village. They also tried to burn the village school and some of the homes, but vigilance of the citizens prevented them. Furthermore, residents of the Anizan community ‘population 35’, close to the Zanuta community southeast of Al-Dhahiriya, began to leave as a result of repeated acts of violence by settlers.

In addition areas in Ramallah and Al-Bireh Governorate were also attacked in the circumstances of this aggressive war on the Gaza Strip. The Civil Administration has apparently stopped demolishing homes since October 7, but the settlers expulsion of Palestinian families from their homes, which began before that date continues and escalated in the shadow of the war and in light of a media blackout. The Israeli media did not cover these attacks and terrorist practices in the past. How much more today, the social media networks that the Palestinians use are carrying out this task in the circumstances of this aggressive war, as was the case for the Palestinians in the Wadi Al-Siq region, who packed their belongings and left their homes, stressing that they They do this as a result of repeated settler attacks.
Within the context, the Israeli ‘Yesh Din Organization’ said that settler violence aims to displace Palestinian communities in an attempt to control their homes and lands, as entire shepherds’ communities have been forced to evacuate since the beginning of the year in the wake of their violence. It also indicated that more than 100 violent incidents attacks by settlers against Palestinians have occurred in at least 62 Palestinian towns and villages in the West Bank since October 7, and the beginning of the Israeli military campaign against the Palestinians in Gaza.
Yesh Din said that in various incidents settlers stole Palestinian property such as solar panels and generators, and carried out acts of vandalism such as burning homes and vehicles and uprooting trees, and that no settlers were arrested, detained,´-or-investigated following the attacks, nor the police intervene to stop them.

In accordance to data by the National Bureau for Defending the Land and Resisting Settlement about 30,000 Palestinians living in about 250 Palestinian communities in Area C of the West Bank are threatened with deportation, some of them have already been deported, since the beginning of the aggression against Gaza, more than 400 settler attacks have been reported, causing the death of a number of citizens, the last of whom is a farmer while picking olives in his village of Al-Sawiya, while the number of attacks since the beginning of the year exceeded 1800, leaving a total of 19 martyrs.
The settler attacks covered additional numberof Palestinian rural villages carried out by “Hilltop Youth” settlement groups in eastern Ramallah and southern Nablus, all the way to southern Hebron, as well as the Jordan Valley area, targeted Palestinian farmers and Bedouin communities in an attempt to push them to leave, and they have already succeeded in displacing a number of them.

Many Bedouin communities throughout the West Bank have also become a target for the terrorist of settler militias, who are armed by the Israeli Minister of National Security, Itamar Ben Gvir, just as BezalelSmotrich, the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Settlements at the Army Ministry is responsible for financing them. During the aggressive war on the Gaza Strip, these militias escalate their attacks on Palestinian shepherds’ gatherings in large areas of the West Bank and expel Palestinian farmers from their lands, fields, with the support and cover of the occupation army, specifically the ‘Judea and Samaria’ division, led by Brigadier General AviBalut.
In a task that has been planned long ago to ‘completely cleanse’ about 60% of the West Bank from Palestinian citizens. This brigade is the formation that manages most military activities, gradually transforming into a settler brigade. The settlers don t have a bad word to say against Plot because he is one of their group. He grew up in the “NeveTzov” settlement and studied in the religious school in the “Eli” settlement.
He wears a hat, united in his thinking and behavior between his religious-settler identity and his military vision. In articles published on military and strategic topics, he often makes connections, as Netanyahu does these days, between his ideas about the stories of the Torah and enemies like the Amalekites, who must be exterminated and their lineage cut off forever.

In the middle of last week, settlers set up several caravans in the Al-Qa’da area, northwest of the Salfeetcity after the occupation army tightened its military measures in the north and west of the governorate by erecting cement cubes at the entrances to the town of QarawatBani Hassan, west of Salfeet, and the village of Marda to the east.
Midlast week, the occupation bulldozers continued their work to implement a new plan, constructing a settlement road, and uprooting olive trees in the lands of the Farkha village, southwest of Salfeet from the Ras settlement outpost, bulldozing work continues to implement a settlement plan and build a new road in the Al-Batin area to link it to the Al-Matwi area, northwest of the village, with the aim of facilitating settlers’ access to these areas, and they uproot dozens of perennial olive trees.

Accordingto the villagers, the construction of this road aims to confiscate and control hundreds of dunams for the benefit of establishing colonial projects which its features and dimensions are not yet clear, utilizing the circumstances of the ongoing brutal aggression against the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip as well as in the West Bank. This area in which the bulldozing work is taking place, has an area of about 1,400 dunams, and there is a water spring in it, covering 25 - 30% of the village’s water needs.
A number of Bedouin families live in the area, and the settlers are pursuing them and trying to expel them from the area. At the same time, the occupation mechanisms bulldozed large areas of citizens’ lands in the area surrounding Ezbet Abu Basal, northwest of the city of Salfeet, in favor of expanding settlements and their infrastructure at the expense of citizens’ agricultural and pastoral lands. This area is surrounded by the ‘Ariel’ and ‘Ariel’ Industrial Colonies, and the Ras settlement outpost. Thegoal of the bulldozing work is to expand it and connect it together in an unprecedented process of settlement encroachment.
At the end of last week, the occupation bulldozers continued to bulldoze large areas of land in the Derastia town, northwest of Salfeet, in favor of constructing a new settlement road in the ‘Al-Masahil’ area, north of the town, linking the “Emmanuel” colony to other settlements in the area, and also in clear exploitation of the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip.

List of Israeli Assaults over the Last Week Documented by the National Bureau:
• Demolishing a horse’sbarn and a house fence in the BeitHanina Neighborhood, north of occupied Jerusalem belonging to Al-Maqdisi Ibrahim Darwish. He estimated his losses at about NIS 100,000, besides the costs of the demolition itself.
• Attacking the house of citizen Muhammad Abd al-Rahman al-Jabareen in MasaferYatta and destroyed its contents.
• Wounding a 14-year-old child from the al-Jaabari family in the Wadi al-Hussein area, east of the city of Hebron, while attacking a house and a commercial store east of Hebron.
• Attacking olive pickers in the village of WadiFukin in the “Al-Khallah” area.
• Writing racist slogans on Al-Khansaa Mixed Basic School and destroyed its gate in the Tuqutown.
• Demolishing 2 houses and 5 agricultural rooms in the Al-Khadertown in the Shushahla area, they also bulldozed large areas of land and uprooted scores of trees.
• Attacking citizens vehicles with stones near the village of DeirSharaf, while the occupation forces compeled the olive pickers to leave their lands, in the Duma village, south of Nablus. In the lands adjacent to the settlement west of the village, they seized the fruits and picking equipment, and also threatened them from approaching the place.
• Seizing a park in the Qariottown and raised the flag of the Occupying State over it, after removing its doors.
• Opening fire on farmers while picking olives in the Qasra town.
• Torching lands of the village of Jeet, planted with olive trees.
• Demolishing 6 commercial barracks and fruit and vegetable stands at the entrance to the village of Al-Jalama, prevented their owners from removing their belongings, and seized the house of citizen Ahmed Abu Ali and turned its roof into an monitoring point.
• Tightening military measures in the north and west of the governorate, by installing cement cubes at the entrances to the QarawatBani Hassan town, west of Salfeet, and the village of Marda to the north.
• Torching olive trees in the lands of Ramin and Beit Lid, east of Tulkarm, they gathered at the Beit Lid Junction, and spread out on the main Nablus-Tulkarm road, under the protection of the occupation forces. They carried out acts of orgy in the area and attacked citizens’ property, before setting fire to olive trees in the Ramin Plain and the lands of BeitLeid.
Jordan Valley:
• Attacking citizen Thaer Abu Rayhan near the “Ru’iya” settlement and destroyed his vehicle, but he manage to survive and escape from them.
• Forcing Palestinian shepherds to evacuate the pastures near Khirbet Samra, and beat their livestock under the protection of the occupation army.
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