Israeli Settler Assaults in the occupied Palestinian territory during the third quarter of 2015
(July – September)/2015

Israeli Settler Assaults in the occupied Palestinian territory during the third quarter of 2015 <br>
(July – September)/2015


In recent months, the occupied city of Jerusalem witnessed a round of tension between Israeli police and Palestinians in light of the repeated incursions of the Israeli right-wing groups, Knesset members and settlers groups to the courtyard of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem city under the pretext of Jewish holidays. These incursions were also accompanied by strict security measures imposed by the Israeli police on the entry of Palestinian worshipers to the Al-Aqsa Mosque (including women, men and children), in addition to vandalizing and raiding several places in Al-Aqsa Mosque and the prosecution of Palestinians, including women and elderly, who took it upon themselves to protect Al-Aqsa Mosque from the repeated settlers’ incursions.  

The majority of settler attacks are carried out in full sight of Israeli police/soldiers  who do nothing to stop them, which indicates the alarming and dangerous situation that engulfs the Palestinian communities, and in particular Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem city. Additionally, the  Israeli occupation Authorities seeks to satisfy its heretical thirst by preparing plans that aim at Judaizing Al Aqsa Mosque and erasing its religious and historical identity, the last of which was revealed by the Israeli daily newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth, on the 13th of August 2015, and includes the building of a huge three-story building “synagogue” opposite to Al Buraq Wall (Ha’et Al Buraq), called "house of Haleba, Beit Haliba" in Al Aqsa Mosque, in Jerusalem city. 

With regard to Israeli settler attacks in the occupied West Bank, a research analysis prepared by the Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem indicated that during the third quarter of 2015 (July to September), 191 attacks were committed at the hands of Israeli settlers in the different Palestinian Governorates and included attacks against Palestinian civilians, religious and archaeological sites, personal properties, livestock and farmland and many other attacks that negatively impacted the entire Palestinian community. Chart No. 1 gives details of the type of Israeli settler attacks in the occupied West Bank (oWB).

Chart No. 1:Type of Israeli settler attacks in the oWB

Chart 1 indicates that most of the attacks carried out by Israeli settlers during the previous mentioned period which topped the list of attacks was the repeated incursions of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem city, as 45 attacks out of 63 were recorded in the occupied West Bank. Israeli settler attacks also targeted Palestinian civilians and included the run-over incidents, which became very popular among settlers, this is in addition to setting Palestinian cars and homes ablaze, most notable was the burning of Al Dawabshah family house in the village of Duma in Nablus Governorate in late July (2015) and claimed the lives of three family members (out of four) as a result of severe burns and smoke inhalation, while the fourth member is still lying in the hospital and suffers from severe burns in various parts of his body. The assault on Palestinian civilians topped the second on the list of recorded attacks in the occupied Palestinian Governorates in terms of number by 49 attacks during the aforementioned period.

The occupied Palestinian Governorates have also witnessed the frequent settler attacks against their properties, including throwing stones at cars and breaking into homes and the destruction of water wells and incurring damage to electricity networks and setting fire to properties with the aim to inflict damage and increase the suffering of Palestinians. In that regard, ARIJ recorded 33 attacks during the afore-mentioned period, which puts this type of attack in the third place in terms of the number of attacks during the reporting period.

Jerusalem Governorate topped on the throne of attacks carried out by Israeli settlers during the reporting period where 73 attacks were recorded in the Governorate and mostly targeted Al-Aqsa Mosque and Palestinian civilians in addition to the run-over incidents carried out by settlers, the verbal abuse and severe beating, most significantly in the Old City of Jerusalem,  Silwan city, Ash Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood and Ras al-Amud neighborhood. It should be noted that the most radical and extremist settlers are those who live in settlements and colonial neighborhoods that surround the city of Jerusalem and in the Old City in particular, which explains why such a large number of attacks was recorded in Jerusalem Governorate. See Chart 2

Chart 2: The distribution of Israeli Settler Attacks in the occupied Palestinian Governorates.


Nablus Governorate came in the second place in terms of the number of attacks where 34 attacks were recorded during the reporting period, most notable was the killing of 40 sheep and wounding more than 20 others  in a run over incident carried out by Israeli settlers in Aqraba village in Nablus Governorate. This incident inflicted great losses to the owner of the herd, named Ayesh Al Da’ajna. Also the villages of Burin, Duma, Huwwara, Qaryut, Yetma, Qusra and Qaryut in Nablus Governorate witnessed a considerable number of settler attacks  including throwing stones at Palestinian cars driving on Israeli controlled roads (roads that are still used by Israeli settlers and Palestinian citizens), most specifically, near Shavei Shomron settlement, and the burning of Olive trees in Burin Village and the frequent attacks to Joseph Tomb in Nablus city. Hebron Governorate topped the third on the list of Governorates in terms of settlers attacks where 23 attacks were recorded in the Governorate, mostly in the old city of Hebron and the Masafer Yatta area in the southern Hebron Hills.

To conclude,

Palestinian citizens in the occupied West Bank no longer can endure the violence committed by Israeli settlers because it continues to present a direct and consistent threat to their day-to-day life and continue to inflict damages to their properties.

Despite the fact that the international humanitarian law requires the State of Israel to provide protection for Palestinian civilians who reside in the territory it occupies, the incidents that take place on the ground and mostly go without punishment indicate that the occupying power feed settlers violence in the occupied West Bank, and encourages settlers to commit more crimes against Palestinians.

Article 47 of the GENEVA CONVENTION RELATIVE TO THE PROTECTION OF CIVILIAN PERSONS IN TIME OF WAR (THE “FOURTH GENEVA CONVENTION”) of August 1949, states that “Protected persons who are in occupied territory shall not be deprived, in any case or in any manner whatsoever, of the benefits of the present Convention by any change introduced, as the result of the occupation of a territory, into the institutions or government of the said territory, nor by any agreement concluded between the authorities of the occupied territories and the Occupying Power, nor by any annexation by the latter of the whole or part of the occupied territory.”


Prepared by:  
The Applied Research Institute – Jerusalem


Categories: Settlers Attacks