Israeli Settlers’ Violations against Palestinian Land and People continue to rise

Israeli Settlers’ Violations against Palestinian Land and People continue to rise

In An interview with the Israeli daily newspaper, Haaretz, on the 2ed of October 2008, the Israeli Defense Forces GOC Central Command Major General Gadi Shamni has leveled harsh criticism against Israeli settlers living in settlements of the West Bank. Shamni declared that the Jewish settlers' violence against Palestinians and their properties has recently increased in the west bank due to the encouragement they receive from the settlers' leadership, Israeli rabbis and the public. Shamni's proclamation came after the Israeli settlers in Occupied West Bank held a campaign against shamni himself. The campaign was held by Israeli right wing movements, 'land of Israel Faithful', 'Women in Green', 'Homesh first' and 'the team for saving the land & the nation' who held a demonstration in front of Shamni's house in Modi'in Ra'ot settlement on the second of September 2008, to force him to revoke outposts' evacuation decision. Picture 1 below shows the published poster that called on Israeli settlers to demonstrate in front of Shamni's house along with a map of details of Shamni's house in modi'in Ra'ot.



Figure 1 & Figure 2 : Posters published by extreme right wing settlers


Settlers' violations against Palestinians

During the last couple of months, the Israeli settlers escalated their assaults and attacks against Palestinian lands and properties in the West Bank. Following is a list of Israeli settlers' attacks against Palestinians during the month of August and September 2008. (Source: ARIJ monthly reports):


August 2008:-

  • On August 1, 2008: Israeli Kiryat Arba' Settlers destroyed 15 Palestinian cars and attacked a number of Palestinian houses near Kiryat Arba' settlement east of Hebron city.

  • On August 2, 2008: Israeli settlers used the site of a former military base as an outpost in Hebron old city.

  • On August 7, 2008, Yetzhar settlers assaulted on Palestinians and set fire into hundreds of dunums of lands, threw stones at Palestinian Houses and killed a cattle.

  • On August 11, 2008, Dozens of Israeli settlers attempted to raid Shu'fat refugee camp in northern Jerusalem.

  • On August 12, 2008, Settlers from Kiryat Arba' settlement located to the east of Hebron city, attempted to burn Al Ras mosque located adjacent to an outpost in the Rugby Building. The Settlers also attacked two groups of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH), foreign peace activists, UNRWA employees and a number of Palestinian citizens.

  • On August 13, 2008, A group of Kiryat Arba' settlers attacked Palestinian houses with stones and empty glass bottles in Wadi Al Hassen neighborhood located along the fence of the settlement.

  • On August 14, 2008, Israeli Settlers from Taffuh settlement attacked Palestinians' sheep herders in Yasuf village near Salfit city and seized 25 sheep.

  • On August 14, 2008, Israeli Settlers living in Al Ras neighborhood in Hebron city attacked Palestinians in the neighborhood and a mosque.

  • On August 17, 2008, Israeli settlers attempted to occupy the house of Baha' Addin Darwish in the town of Beit Safafa, south of Jerusalem city .

  • On August 17, 2008, Israeli Settlers from Susiya settlement (located on lands of Al-Samua village land south of Hebron city) attacked farmers and shepherds and prevented them from accessing their lands located in close proximity of the settlement.

  • On August 20, 2008, Israeli settlers tried to seize 4 dunums of land near Dar Al-Aytam school in AL-Thawri neighborhood in East Jerusalem. Settlers tried to build iron gates around the land.

  • On August 21, 2008, Israeli settlers damaged 20 graves and tombstones in Ma'man Allah cemetery just outside the Old City of Jerusalem.

  • On August 24, 2008, Groups of Israeli settlers celebrated Sheva Brachot prayers in Homesh settlement southwest of Jenin city which was evacuated 3 years ago.

  • On August 26, 2008, Israeli Settlers from 'Betar Illit settlement located south-west of Bethlehem city, destroyed and stole grapes harvest planted on 6 dunums land out of 15 dunums located within the Boundaries of Betar Illit settlement. Losses are estimated at 2000 shekels.

  • On August 26, 2008, Settlers of Kiryat Arba settlement, along with Settlers living in 'Rugby Building' outpost' in Hebron city, renewed their attacks at Palestinian houses in Al-Rugby neighborhood. Settlers threw stones and glass bottles against Palestinian homes and carried out immoral actions in the streets. Settlers also assaulted on members of Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH) as they were called to document settlers' assaults.

September 2008:-

  • On September 3, 2008, 50 Israeli rightists entered East Jerusalem refugee camp of Shu'fat and attempted to place a mobile home in the location of Sha'ar Mezrach Outpost near the camp. Settlers were also attempting to lay claim to the area, which lies on land Israel occupied in 1967.

  • On September 9, 2008, Tens of Israeli settlers attacked 'Asira Al Qiblyeh village south of Nablus city, burnt a house and set fire into agricultural fields planted with Olives.

  • On September 12, 2008, two armed Israeli settlers from the nearby settlement of Har Bracha fired gunshots, killing a donkey and four sheep belonging to a Palestinian farmer in Burin Village in Nablus city

  • On September 13, 2008, over 100 Israeli settlers went on a rampage in the villages of Asira el-Qabalyia and Madama north of Nablus city. Settlers began attacking Palestinian homes and damaging property.

  • On September 13, 2008, Israeli settlers from the nearby Israeli settlement Yitzhar set fire into hundreds of olive trees, causing massive damage to the livelihood of many of the villagers. A preliminary assessment of the damages had concluded that the fire damaged the livelihood of dozens of families, and that 12-17 acres of trees had been destroyed. The settlers had started the fire in an area that Palestinians cannot enter due to security restrictions, thus preventing them from putting out the flames.

  • On September 13, 2008, . Israeli settlers from the settlement of 'Itamar' burnt 70 dunums of olive fields located close to the settlement, in the village of 'Awarta east of Nablus city. Settlers also tried burning other areas of land in the village.

  • On September 14, 2008, Dozens of Israeli youth settlers from the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar established an indiscriminate outpost named it 'Dan' near the Palestinian village of 'Asira al-Qabaliya in Nablus Governorate.

  • On September 16, 2008, a group of armed Israeli settlers attacked the vehicles with Palestinian registration plates traveling on roads close to the settlement of 'Yitzhar'.

  • On September 17, 2008, Tens of Israeli settlers from Yetzhar settlement set fire into more than 200 dunums of agricultural lands planted with Olive Trees in Madama, Burin and 'Asira Al Qiblyia south of Nbalus city. In addition, settlers burned a field of crops near the Israeli settlement of Yitzhar, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus.

  • On September 17, 2008, Israeli settlers from Jil'ad Settlement set fire into 300 Olive trees in Sorra village near Nablus city.

  • September 17, 2008, Israeli settlers living in Masskiyot settlement in the Jordan Valley attacked shepherds while they were grazing their livestock nearing the vicinity of the settlement.

  • On September 17, 2008, Twenty Israeli settlers stormed the house of Journalist Yousef Qotob in Al Mazra'a housing project in Bir Zeit city near Ramallah city and destroyed his car and windows of the house.

  • On September 18, 2008, Israeli settlers from Talmon settlement located northwest of Ramallah city set fire into two buildings located in 'Ein Tarsha' area in Al Mazra'a Al Qibliyeh village owned by resident Abdel Hafez Shreteh. Settlers caused damages to an agricultural tractor that was in the area.

  • On September 18, 2008, Israeli Settlers vandalized Palestinian property in several locations after the Israel Forces evacuated the outpost of Yad Ya'ir near the settlement of Dolev located to the northwest of Ramallah city. Several incidents of settlers' violence elsewhere in the West Bank were apparently a response to the evacuation of the outpost and were exemplified in throwing stones at Palestinian cars in the area between Ramallah and Nablus. Settlers also threw stones at Palestinian homes and caused major damage.

  • On September 27, 2008, Tens of Israeli settlers and under the Protection of Israeli Occupation Forces invaded the village of Kafr Ad Deik west of Salfit city and attacked dozens of Palestinian homes and smashed vehicles and threw stones.

It must be noted here that settlers' violations increased in year 2008 compared to last year as documented by Yesh Din organization (Volunteers for Human Rights). Table 1 below details the number of Israeli settlers' violations during the last couple of years (since 2007 to August 2008).

Table 1: Israeli settlers' violations against land and property


No. of opened files

No. of Indictments

No. of accusers





2008/ till August




Source: Yesh Din – Volunteers for Human Rights


The different ways in which the Successive Israeli Governments have encouraged right-wing Jewish extremist movements to settle in the West Bank are: 1) facilitating the seizure of Palestinian lands; 2) the building of Israeli settlements and outposts and the financial allocations given to Israeli settlers living in these settlements; and most importantly 4) facilitating the process of fund raising for these movements from internal and external sources.


Israel has used the right wing movements as a tool to achieve their desires and plans of expanding in the Occupied Palestinian territory, and controlling of Palestinian lands and natural resources; thus, creating a 'fait accompli' on the ground. This process has led to the creation of a huge entity in itself which was supported by the many right-wing Knesset members who had taken West Bank settlements as their home. Table 2 below details the residency place of a number of Israeli Knesset members living in Israeli settlements in the West Bank.


Table 2: Israeli Kennest Members living in Israeli settlements in the West Bank.





Tzachi Hanegbi


Mevasseret Tzion


Otniel Schneller


Maaleh Michmas


Ze'ev Elkin


Alon Shvut


Matan Vilnai


Mevasseret Tzion


Yuli-Yoel Edelstein


Alon Shvut


Yuval Steinitz


Mevasseret Tzion


Avigdor Liberman

Yisrael Beitenu



Alex Miller

Yisrael Beitenu



David Rotem

Yisrael Beitenu



Esterina Tartman

Yisrael Beitenu

Givon Hachadasha


Uri Yehuda Ariel

Ichud Leumi – Mafdal

Kfar Adumim


Arieh Eldad

Ichud Leumi – Mafdal

Kfar Adumim


Benyamin Elon

Ichud Leumi – Mafdal

Beit El


Zvi Hendel

Ichud Leumi – Mafdal

Yad Binyamin


Nissan Slomiansky

Ichud Leumi – Mafdal



Ran Cohen


Mevasseret Tzion

Source: Israeli Kennest English HOMEPAGE -2008

(Current Knesset Members of theSeventeenth Knesset)


This unlimited support created a strong influence on West Bank settlers over Israeli security forces in the Occupied Palestinian territory in that Israeli security forces have become in line with settlers and comply with their actions in the territory and negatively affected the lives of Palestinians living in the West Bank whom always suffered from settlers' violations.


A New report issued by Yesh Din organization based on Yesh Din’s monitoring of 92 investigation files opened at the Judea and Samaria Police District; the vast majority of violations were committed during the years of 2005 and 2006, while fewer violations took place during the preceding three years. The report also showed that from January to November 2005, 299 investigation files were opened by the Judea and Samaria Police District related to offenses committed by Israeli civilians (including settlers) against Palestinians. The report findings showed that:

1.     More than 90% of the complaints and files in which the investigation was completed were closed without indictments being submitted;

2.     96% of the files on trespassing actions (including cases of destructing, burning and uprooting of trees) in which the investigation was completed were closed without indictments being submitted.

3.     100% of the property offenses in which the investigation was completed were closed without indictments being submitted.

4.     79% of the assault files in which the investigation was completed were closed without indictments being submitted.

5.     About 5% of the complaints filed were lost and apparently were never investigated.

6.     59 of the investigation files were closed; out of which, 20 cases lacked sufficient evidence and 34 cases, the Perpetrator was unknown.

7.     Five cases were closed on the grounds of “No Criminal Culpability” (that is, either no crime was committed, or the suspect proved he had no connection to the crime). Yesh Din examined four of these five cases and found out that these were not valid grounds for closing them.


Magic turned against the magician

The growing influence of right-wing Jewish movements in the West Bank has encouraged the Israeli settlers to ignore the Israeli army and police orders. It also encouraged them to reject any governmental resolutions. This feeling of power, push the settlers to even attack Israelis who dissent with their opinions and Israeli soldiers as well. Below is a number of Israeli settlers' violence against Israelis during the month of August 2008:  

  • On September 2, 2008: Extremist Jews movements held a demonstration in front of the Israel Occupation Forces GOC Central Command Major General Gadi Shamni home in Modi'in Ra'ot to force him to revoke outposts' evacuation decisions.

  • On September 10, 2008: Some 40 Israeli settlers arrived at an IOF position near Talmon settlement, west of Ramallah and assaulted reservists manning the post and called them 'Nazis'. The incident at the outpost followed a demonstration held near an IOF base against the decision to close a road leading to Gush Talmonim region when settlers were driving home from work. The incident came also as a response to IOF and Israeli Civil Administration workers to remove construction supplies from Yad Ya'ir Illegal outpost.

  • On September 18, 2008: Israeli settlers allegedly vandalized an IDF position near the outpost of Horesh Yaron, northeast of the settlement of Talmon. Settlers damaged at least 10 cars belonging to reservists manning the post, including slashing their tires.

  • On September 25, 2008: Extremist Jews detonated an explosive device near the house of the Professor Ze'ev shtrenhel in Jerusalem due to his opinions against West Bank settlers.

To conclude:

Gadi Shamni proclamations did not add anything on the Palestinian level. The Israeli settlers' violations were and are still on rise continuously. Shamni proclamations came from the fear that the policy of the right-wing movements goes beyond that of the Israeli army in the occupied Palestinian territory. The recent media coverage of settlers' violations in the West Bank, aimed only at preventing a new political assassination in Israel, no more and no less.





Prepared by 
The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem

Categories: Settlers Attacks