In the heart of the West Bank, between Turmus Ayya and al-Mughayyir villages, Palestinians were reportedly attacked by settlers from the illegal Adei Ad colony, northeast of Ramallah.
Farmers were attacked by settlers who fired shots and threw stones, injuring at least five individuals. One of the casualties was shot in the head by Israeli soldiers who were with the settlers, and is currently in a critical condition.
According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, settlers’ beatings and stone throwing caused four injuries. Those victims are doing well right now.
According to Marzouq Abu Naim, a councillor in al-Mughayyir village, about 270 bales of hay and five vehicles parked along the edge of the fields were set on fire.
Israeli military attacked the region, according to Abu Naim, “to provide protection for the settlers,” which resulted in fights between young men and soldiers.
Al-Mughayyir village council president Amin Abu Alia claimed that “settlers used live bullets, stones, and sticks” in the attack.
“The Israeli army intervened to protect the settlers, firing teargas canisters at the Palestinian farmers,” he continued.
The Israeli military, according to Abu Alia, has been blocking the town of al-Mughayyir’s two main gates for the past two weeks. This forces locals to travel via winding, difficult roads to reach their workplaces.
On Thursday, Israeli forces arrested two Palestinians from al-Mughayyir village.
The European Union Delegation to the Palestinians described themselves as “appalled” by the attacks by the settlers.
The EU issued the following statement in a Tweet: “The EU condemns settler violence and calls on Israel to take decisive steps to ensure accountability and protect the Palestinian civilian population in accordance with its obligations under international law.” Even though attacks by Israeli settlers against Palestinians are frequent in the West Bank, they have been increasing at an alarming rate lately, according to UN human rights experts.
According to UN statistics, settler attacks have increased yearly since 2016, with at least 849 incidents registered in 2022, 228 of which resulted in deaths.
Israeli authorities have previously been charged by human rights organisations with supporting settler violence and neglecting to hold criminals accountable or safeguard Palestinians.
“Armed and masked Israeli settlers are attacking Palestinians in their homes, attacking children on their way to school, destroying property and burning olive groves, and terrorising entire communities with complete impunity,” UN experts said last year.
“Disturbing evidence of Israeli forces frequently facilitating, supporting and participating in settler attacks makes it difficult to discern between Israeli settler and State violence,” they added.
Nearly 700,000 settlers live in more than 250 settlements and outposts across the West Bank and East Jerusalem in violation of international law.