As six Jewish settlers are arrested for Hawara 'pogrom', critics doubt serious accountability by Israel
The Israeli police announced on Wednesday that it had arrested six Jewish settlers, four adults and two minors, suspected of "involvement in disturbances, arson, assault and causing damage in Hawara" in the occupied West Bank last Sunday.
The suspects are under interrogation and will appear at a court in Jerusalem later on Wednesday.
"The investigation continues and more arrests are expected," the police statement added.
Eight settlers were also detained on the night of the rioting. However, they were quickly released, with three sent to house arrest.
Last Sunday, the Palestinian town of Hawara was attacked by scores of violent Jewish settlers who set fire to homes, cars and trees. One Palestinian, Sameh Aqtash, the 37-year-old Palestinian relief worker from Zaatara, was killed during the attack by Israeli settlers.
The settlers' rampage was so severe that an Israeli army general called it a "pogrom."
Ziyad Dumeidi, one of the residents of Hawara, told The New Arab that Jewish settlers amassed outside and placed six car tires in front of the door to his house and then set them ablaze. The 48-year-old said he and his wife and four children lived in "horror" for the next two and a half hours.
"We were trapped. Smoke was getting in the house and settlers in large numbers were outside," he described.
Dumeidi couldn't estimate the number of attackers, but judging from the commotion outside his home, he discerned it wasn't a small number.
"They attempted to open the doors, and they broke windows, then they set fire to the house door, then the electricity was cut," he said.
The onslaught lasted for nearly two and a half hours before the settlers left after the Israeli army intervened.
Despite the announcement that suspects were arrested, Israeli law enforcement authorities often do not prevent settler attacks and rarely detain or charge perpetrators of settler violence.
Abdullah Huwari, another resident of the town, told TNA that the Israeli army aided settlers in their attacks against Palestinians on Sunday night.
Commenting on the six Jewish fanatics that were arrested by the Israeli police, Abdullah said, "The soldiers should be arrested if they are [the police] serious."
He added to TNA that a house under construction that belonged to him was set ablaze, and its roof collapsed.
Some Israeli NGOs allege that the Israeli army enables a permissive environment through its lack of enforcement.
The Jewish Supremacist regime carried out a pogrom in the villages around Nablus yesterday. This isn't “loss of control”. This is exactly what Israeli control looks like. The settlers carry out the attack, the military secures it, the politicians back it. It’s a synergy. > pic.twitter.com/1LHZExk3CL— B'Tselem בצלם بتسيلم (@btselem) February 27, 2023
On Tuesday, the EU and the United States envoys condemned settler violence and demanded the Israeli authorities bring charges against the perpetrators and compensation for the victims.