Israeli Settler attacks in the occupied West Bank during the fourth quarter of 2014

Israeli Settler attacks in the occupied West Bank during the fourth quarter of 2014


In the last few years, Israeli settler attacks against the Palestinian community has increased a noticeably and has become a growing and consistent threat to Palestinians and their livelihood, especially that these attacks are not confined to land and property, but also target Palestinian civilians under the guise of the so called “Price Tag” policy. This systematic revenge policy shows that Israeli settlers choose this policy to continue attacking Palestinians all over the West Bank territory and at the same time, to put pressure on the Israeli Government to not make any concessions with regard to settlement building and land annexation in the occupied State of Palestinian. Additionally, with the absence of the Israeli deterrence of settler attacks, this price tag policy has increased year after year, and has become a matter of concern that these settler groups will control the reins and thus put pressure on the Israeli government to impose more facts on the ground.

Analysis conducted by the Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem (ARIJ) to the Israeli settler attacks in the occupied Palestinian territory during the fourth quarter of 2014,  ARIJ recorded 217 settler attacks were committed at the hands of settler groups and have targeted Palestinian civilians, lands, properties, livestock and even agriculture. Such attacks inflicted huge losses and suffering among Palestinians. Chart No. 1 gives details of the Israeli Settler attacks during the fourth quarter of 2014 in the occupied West Bank:-  

During the reporting period, the attacks varied from hurling stones at Palestinian homes and properties, and puncturing the tires of tens of Palestinian cars, running over schoolchildren while on their way to school or coming back from it, as well as setting homes, churches, Mosques ablaze, killing livestock and uprooting and destroying of olive trees.

Israeli settler attacks also included writing racist slogans against Palestinians (Christians and Muslims alike) in an attempt to spread terror and fear in the hearts of Palestinian citizensñ that is in addition to harassing and assaulting Palestinian civilians, insulting and beating them with sharp tools and causing extensive harm. These attacks were mostly committed in areas that are in close proximity of Israeli settlements, such as the settlements of Betar Illit, Efrat, Neve Daniel, Nekodim and Elizaer in Bethlehem Governorate, Karme Zur, Susia, Maon, Negohot, Kiryat Arba and Kfar Taphuh in Hebron Governorate; Itamar, Yetzhar, Shilo, Bracha and the outpost of Yesh Kodesh in Nablus Governorate; Masskiyot and Roi settlements in Tubas Governorates; Pesagot, Beit El and Talmon settlements in Ramallah Governorate and Ariel settlement in Salfit Governorate. Chart (2) gives details of the types of Israeli settler attacks in the occupied West Bank:-


Among the most targeted in the occupied West Bank Governorates are Palestinian Civilians. During the period from October 2014 to December 2014, ARIJ recorded a total of 72 attacks against Palestinian Civilians. Additionally, the extent of Israeli settler attacks against holy places (Mosques, churches and Monasteries)  increased during the reporting period, and were carried out under the eyesight of the Israeli police and army. This kind of attack comes in the second place of all attacks in the occupied West Bank Governorates as 61 attacks were recorded. In the third place comes the attacks on Palestinian properties (homes, cars and other structures) where 44 attacks were recorded.

Note that settler violations have also targeted the Palestinian trees which constitute a main source of income for a large sector of the Palestinian population in the occupied West Bank. In the period between October and December 2014, settlers managed to destroy more than 400 Palestinian trees, mostly olive trees in Bethlehem and Nablus Governorates. This includes cutting and burning of fruitful trees or spraying them with toxic pesticides so that Palestinians cannot cultivate them again or use them in any way possible.

Additionally, Some Palestinian Governorates in the occupied West Bank suffer higher number of settler attacks than others. The attacks were more frequent in Jerusalem Governorate (which ranked first among other Palestinian Governorates), followed by Nablus, Hebron and Bethlehem respectively; These Governorates are considered as hotbeds of religious settlements inhabited by religious and fanatic mentality settlers. See Chart 3

To conclude,

It seems that Netanyahu government isn't serious about preventing settler attacks in the occupied West Bank and the Government’s  deliberate failure (army and police) to deter settlers from committing attacks against Palestinians and their properties encourages settlers to continue to  violate the rights of Palestinians all over the West Bank Governorates; and today, Palestinians are no longer able to protect themselves from these attacks and no longer feel safe in light of the disregard of the Israeli occupation army to take immediate measures against such attacks, which often pass without settlers being held accountable for their violent attacks.


Prepared by:
The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem

Categories: Settlers Attacks