Uptick in Attacks by Settlers in the Occupied Palestinian Territories

Nearly two dozen cars in the Ramallah-area Palestinian town of El-Bireh were vandalized overnight into Tuesday, November 9, in an anti-Palestinian hate crime perpetrated by Israeli settlers.

Vehicles were daubed with the Hebrew phrase “price tag” — a slogan used by extremist settlers to describe attacks on Palestinians purportedly made in reprisal for some  damage incurred by the settlers themselves at the hands of the government or military — as well as the phrase “here is where the enemy lives” and Stars of David. The incident came amidst a recent uptick in attacks by settlers, many of them specifically targeting Palestinians, their homes and olive groves during the seasonal olive harvest in the occupied West Bank that began last month.

On Sunday, November 7, settlers from an unauthorized West Bank outpost assaulted and beat a Palestinian man with a club, fracturing his arm. The incident followed a clash over the use of a cistern in a Palestinian village in the South Hebron Hills. An Israeli officer returned the club to the settlers, who reside in the illegal agricultural outpost Maane.

Masked Israeli settlers were videoed throwing stones at a Palestinian home near Burin in the central West Bank on Saturday, November 6, while Israeli soldiers on the scene appeared to stand idly by. According to the Israeli rights group Yesh Din, which monitors violence against Palestinians, two Palestinian residents of Burin were injured by the stone-throwing settlers. “The attack itself lasted about a quarter of an hour; during which additional residents of Burin arrived to assist the members of the family being attacked defend themselves. At this point, the Israeli soldiers fired tear gas grenades at the Palestinians,” Yesh Din reported. Yesh Din has reported 37 incidents of settler violence since the beginning of the olive harvest last month. Around nine involved direct attacks by settlers against Palestinian farmers, the rights group said.

An occupation soldier stands guard over Israeli settlers after they invaded a playground in the Palestinian hamlet of Susya in the West Bank’s South Hebron Hills, chasing off the village’s children,
Saturday, November 6, 2021. (Photo: Ta’ayush)

Not Fun and Games

In a separate incident, Israeli soldiers prevented Palestinians from the South Hebron Hills village of Susya from accessing a playground in their West Bank village on Saturday morning, November 6, after dozens of Israeli settlers invaded the place and drove off the Palestinian children who had been playing there. The playground reopened in September for the Palestinian children, after it was renovated and safety defects were repaired. According to Palestinian residents, as soon as the repairs were completed, settlers began coming to the playground to photograph it. They also staged a protest there, demanding that the Israeli Civil Administration demolish it “because it was built without a permit.” In videos from the scene, the settlers can be seen milling about in the playground, surrounded by the army.