Zionist settler violence increases in Palestine: UN agencies, NGOs
A settler takes aim at a Palestinian stone-throwing civilian (Photo credit: AP)
Zionist settler violence against Palestinian civilians in the occupied West Bank and East Al-Quds (Jerusalem) has increased sharply since 2009, says a group of UN agencies and NGOs.
“Last year, the number of settler attacks resulting in Palestinian casualties and property damage increased by more than a third; since 2009 it increased by nearly 150 percent,” said a July 11 joint statement issued by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI), the Palestinian NGO Al-Haq and the Israeli NGOs Yesh Din and B’Tselem.
Jessica Montell, the director of B’Tselem, said in a joint press conference with representatives of the other groups in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Wednesday that there were “two distinct phenomena” regarding the issue.
The first was the “price tag phenomenon” and the second was “displacing Palestinians” and expanding the illegal settlements in “a very explicit way.”
Pauline Nunu of the EAPPI also stated that the illegal Zionist settlement expansion is “scaring the Palestinians and threatening them and forcing them to leave their community so that the settlers will take over the land.”
According to the UN figures, over 90 percent of complaints filed against Zionist settlers have not been addressed in recent years. The participants at the Wednesday press conference also censured the Zionist regime over the issue of settler violence. Illegal Zionist settlers often assault the Palestinians or vandalize their properties in the occupied territories. On June 17, a Zionist settler shot dead two Palestinians in the city of al-Khalil in the southern West Bank.
More than half a million Zionists live in over 120 illegal settlements built since the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Al-Quds (Jerusalem).