B’Tselem: ‘Israel’ uses settler terror as tool to steal Palestinian land

An Israeli soldier accompanying Israeli settlers while steeling a Palestinian playground in Susiya village in the West Bank, on Saturday, November 6, 2021

Occupied Palestine (QNN)- The Israeli authorities have been using settler terrorist attacks as “a major informal tool” to take over Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank, Israeli B’Tselem stated.

In a report released on Sunday, the major Israeli human rights group said that the occupation state uses two main methods to steal Palestinian land in the West Bank: official annexation via its judicial system and unofficial acts of intimidation and violence carried out by its settler population to push native Palestinians out of their homes.

“The state fully supports and assists these acts of violence, and its agents sometimes participate in them directly,” the report stated.

“As such, settler violence is a form of government policy, aided and abetted by official state authorities with their active participation.”

According to the report, Israeli settlers have taken over 11 square miles of farm and pasture land in the occupied West Bank during the past five years.

As an example, the group cited the Ma’on settlement, erected illegally in the southern West Bank but together with a sub-outpost now controls some 2.64 square kilometers, including roads and pasture used by native Palestinian residents.

Jummah Ribii, 48, of the Palestinian community Al-Tuwani, told B’Tselem that assaults by settlers were pushing him away from farming that had sustained his family. He said settlers attacked him severely in 2018.

“They broke my leg, and I had to spend two weeks in hospital and continue treatment at home,” B’Tselem quoted him as saying. “I had to sell most of our sheep to cover the cost of treatment.”

B’Tselem added that the Israeli occupation army “does not prevent the attacks, and in some cases, soldiers even participate in them.” It said that law enforcement does little to take action against settlers who commit violent acts against Palestinians “and whitewashes the few cases it is called upon to address.”

“State violence – official and otherwise – is part and parcel of Israel’s apartheid regime, which aims to create a Jewish-only space between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea,” it said.

“When the violence occurs with permission and assistance from the Israeli authorities and under its auspices, it is state violence. The settlers are not defying the state; they are doing its bidding,” the organization said in its report.

According to the report, 451 settler attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank have been documented since early last year, and in 170 of them, Israeli forces did not intervene to protect Palestinians.

As a result, B’Tselem said, five Palestinians were killed and 22 arrested.

(Source / 15.11.2021)

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