Israeli settlers in the illegal outpost of Esh Kodesh near the West bank village of Tormusayya, on March 5, 2008
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian vehicles passing the Israeli-controlled Bartaa military checkpoint in the northern occupied West Bank district of Jenin on Friday, while Israeli soldiers reportedly watched without intervening.
According to Palestinian news agency Wafa, local sources in the Bartaa village said that a dozen Israeli settlers hurled rocks at Palestinian vehicles passing through the checkpoint, and broke one Palestinian’s car windshield.
Wafa reported that locals noted that Israeli forces did not intervene in the incident, and instead watched the attack on the side.
A vehicle belonging to Ibrahim Kabha was damaged in the attack, Wafa noted.
An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an she would look into reports on the incident.
Many Palestinian activists and rights groups have accused Israel of fostering a “culture of impunity” for Israeli settlers and soldiers committing violent acts against Palestinians, while Palestinians face up to 20 years in prison for throwing stones if intent to harm could be proven, and face a minimum prison sentence of three years for throwing a stone at an Israeli.
In contrast, Israeli authorities served indictments in only 8.2 percent of cases of Israeli settlers committing anti-Palestinian crimes in the occupied West Bank in the past three years, according to Israeli NGO Yesh Din.
Between 500,000 and 600,000 Israelis live in Jewish-only settlements across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in violation of international law, with recent announcements of settlement expansion provoking condemnation from the international community.
According to UN documentation,
there were a total of 107 reported settler attacks against Palestinians and their properties in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in 2016, with 69 attacks being reported since the start of 2017.