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RAMALLAH: Since the start of the olive harvest two weeks ago, there has been a significant increase in Israeli settler attacks against Palestinians.
The attacks come at a time when candidates in the upcoming Israeli elections are campaigning for the vote of settlers living in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
“The Palestinian Authority must stand with its people and immediately stop security coordination with the Israeli occupation,” Palestinian politician Mustafa Barghouti told Arab News on Friday.
He added, “It is not possible to stop the settlements and settler attacks without confronting the occupation and the settlements with resistance in all its forms.”
Palestinian sources said the Israeli army attacked olive pickers near the northern West Bank town of Tulkarem on Friday.
Muayyad Shaaban, head of the Wall’s Settlement and Resistance Commission, was also beaten and tear gassed, according to a statement from the commission, which says Shaaban, staff members and popular resistance activists are subjected to “unprecedented aggression”. “Israeli incitement campaign through social media.
Many settlers – including women and children – participated in attacks against Palestinians. These settlers blame Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz for failing to provide them with security in the West Bank and have called on voters not to re-elect him.
Munir Kadous, a researcher at the Israeli organization Yesh Din: Volunteers for Human Rights, described recent settler attacks on Palestinian citizens as “horrible and terrifying”.
He said: “Having limited their attacks to homes and farms on the outskirts of Palestinian towns and villages, they now fearlessly attack any target in the center of these towns, (under) the protection of the army. Israeli.
Younis Arar, director of the international relations unit at the Commission for Settlement and Resistance to the Wall, said the settlers would not have dared to attack in this way without the protection of the Israeli army.
“They attack citizens and their property in broad daylight and shoot people without hesitation or fear, enjoying the protection of the Israeli army, which does not intervene to prevent them from carrying out their attacks against Palestinians and their property” , said Arar.
Around 700,000 settlers live in the West Bank in 130 settlements and outposts, all of which are illegal under international law because they are being built on occupied land.
Palestinians unanimously agree that the danger posed by settlers to their lives and property is equal, if not greater, than that posed by the Israeli army. They also see illegal settlements as the biggest obstacle to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.
Abdullah Odeh, 50, from Hawara in southern Nablus, where he owns a transport company and a tourist resort, told Arab News that settlers have attacked his commercial properties 22 times so far this year. But while previous attacks were limited to vandalism, on October 13 settlers in the nearby town of Yitzhar set fire to two of his trucks and some of his belongings, causing damage he estimates at $140,000. This was followed by another attack on his property on Friday afternoon.
Palestinian sources told Arab News that there have been more than 100 such attacks in the past 10 days.
“I complained to the Palestinian and Israeli police and the Palestinian-Israeli military liaison, and they did nothing,” Odeh told Arab News.
He added that repeated settler attacks on his tourist resort have led to a significant drop in the number of visitors. This week, Odeh plans to start building a fence around his 10-acre compound.
Also on Friday, hundreds of Palestinians attended the funeral of 19-year-old Salah Braiki in Jenin. The teenager was killed by the Israeli army during a raid on the city at dawn on Friday.
Mourners chanted slogans condemning the ongoing Israeli aggression. At least 124 Palestinians, including several children, have been killed in the West Bank since the start of the year.
Braiki’s father said his son was riding his motorbike with friends when the army stormed the town and shot Braiki.
The Palestinian Red Crescent said it had treated 64 civilians injured in clashes in Nablus. Two young men suffered eye and head injuries after being attacked in Burin, south of Nablus, he added.