Dozens of Settlers Assault Palestinians and Peace Activists in Occupied West Bank

Settlers brutally attacked Palestinians and Israeli peace activists in Burin in the occupied West Bank Friday morning with clubs and stones, wounding at least seven. Two of the vehicles belonging to activists were stoned before one of them was torched, he explained.

The activists – some affiliated with Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR) and the Harvest Coalition — had driven to Burin to help local Palestinians plant trees in honor of the Jewish Tu B’Shvat holiday and an hour and a half later, dozens of masked settlers descended from the nearby illegal Israeli outpost of Givat Ronen, wielding clubs and stones. Six of the Israelis wounded by the fascist assault were hospitalized in Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva. Some sustained head injuries, and another had a broken hand.

Israeli activist activists, bloodied from a beating by Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank near the outpost of Givat Ronen on Friday, on January 21, 2022. (Photo: Rabbis for Human Rights)

Joint List leader, MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash) pinned the incident on the government’s backing of settlers. “The government is expanding budgets for the settlements, dubs the settlers ‘the best of our sons’ and strikes deals with Evyatar and Homesh. The policy that entrenches the occupation is the understructure of settlers’ violence.” According to Joint List lawmaker Aida Touma-Sliman (Hadash), “Settler violence is not a side effect of the occupation, it’s in its foundations and is a tool to perpetuate it. Firstly, against Palestinians in order to expel them from the land, and then against Israeli activists in order to prevent solidarity and a joint struggle. Uprooting this violence means uprooting the settlements and end the Israeli occupation.”

“Video footage of the incident shows the attackers descending towards the grove from the nearby hill, with clubs, tools and gasoline they can be seen setting a car ablaze and beating the activists and farmers from the West Bank village of Burin,” RHR said. “The settler violence has become a real mark of Cain on the forehead of Israeli society. Their violence directed first of all at Palestinians and to anyone who refuses to accept their version of messianic Jewish superiority that they seek to impose,” RHR Executive Director, Avi Dabush, said.

Burin has been the scene of a number of attacks by settlers and Israeli fascists which have been caught on video, including incidents in which settlers can be throwing stones at the homes and the Givat Ronen outpost is one of the five outposts where most settler violence takes place, Peace Now said in a statement.  According to the UN data, there were 496 attacks by settlers and Israeli racists against Palestinians in 2021, of which 126 resulted in physical harm. That is an increase of 39% from 2020, when there were 358 such incidents including 84 in which Palestinians were harmed.